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Products > Juncus patens 'Elk Blue'
Juncus patens 'Elk Blue' - Elk Blue California Gray Rush
Image of Juncus patens 'Elk Blue'
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Grass-like
Family: Juncaceae (Rushes)
Origin: California (U.S.A.)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Brown
Bloomtime: Spring/Fall
Height: 1-2 feet
Width: 1-2 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Summer Dry: Yes
Deer Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: <15 F
Juncus patens 'Elk Blue' (Elk Blue California Gray Rush) - An upright fine-textured evergreen grass-like plant that forms dense clumps from short rhizomes with narrow rounded blue-gray leafless stems that grow upright typically to a height of 18 to 24 inches but can reach 30 inches with regular irrigation and fertilizer or if planted in shallow water. From spring to fall it has inconspicuous golden-brown flower clusters that emerge about two-thirds of the way up along the sides of the stems.

Plant in dry shade to occasionally-irrigated full sun - quite drought tolerant once established and hardy down to at least 15 F. Like the species, this versatile rush is adapted to our dry summers and wet winters but can be used in diverse garden situations - from a dry garden in shade to 4" deep in a pond. It is generally left alone by deer and other browsers. Juncus patens 'Elk Blue' was first introduced by our nursery in 1994. It was collected by Randy Baldwin on private property along a ridge south east-of the town of Elk, along the coast south of Mendocino. It has stems that are narrower and bluer than most other forms of Juncus patens and since its introduction it has become one of the most popular of the Juncus that we grow.

The name for the genus comes from the Latin word 'iuncus' which was the ancient word for Rushes which came from the word 'iungere' meaning "to join" in reference to the use of Rushes for cordage. The German botanist Ernest Heinrich Friedrich Meyer described this plant in 1823 with the specific epithet coming from the Latin word 'pateo' meaning "to lie open" in reference to the spreading nature of the plant. The second image of this plant courtesy of Rick Darke. 

This information about Juncus patens 'Elk Blue' displayed on this web page is based on research we have conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations we have made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens visited, as well how our crops have performed in containers in the nursery field. Where appropriate, we will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share cultural information that would aid others in growing this plant.