Plants and Animals

Juncus anthelatus Large path rush

Key Characteristics

Tall rush of moist, sandy prairies; plants 70 to 90 cm tall; basal leaf blades arising from lower 1/5 of plant; auricles thin and whitish or with a smoky patch, conspicuous, 2.0 to 3.5 mm long; unbranched terminal sections of inflorescence mostly with 2 to 5 flowers, the longest distance between adjacent flowers is 6.0 to 11.0 mm. Resembles J. tenuis, which differs by having a more compact inflorescence, and J. dudleyi, which differs by having a short, firm auricle.

Status and Rank

US Status: No Status/Not Listed
State Status: SC - Special Concern (rare or uncertain; not legally protected)
Global Rank: GNR - Not ranked
State Rank: SNR - Not ranked


CountyNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Allegan 2 2020
Berrien 1 1985
Monroe 2 1997
Oceana 1 2004
Wayne 3 2009

Information is summarized from MNFI's database of rare species and community occurrences. Data may not reflect true distribution since much of the state has not been thoroughly surveyed.


Found in open, mostly sandy, prairies or prairie-like habitats, with a high or fluctuating water table. Also found in shallow, moist depressions and transitional areas between lakes and marshes and sandy uplands.

Natural Community Types

For each species, lists of natural communities were derived from review of the nearly 6,500 element occurrences in the MNFI database, in addition to herbarium label data for some taxa. In most cases, at least one specimen record exists for each listed natural community. For certain taxa, especially poorly collected or extirpated species of prairie and savanna habitats, natural community lists were derived from inferences from collection sites and habitat preferences in immediately adjacent states (particularly Indiana and Illinois). Natural communities are not listed for those species documented only from altered or ruderal habitats in Michigan, especially for taxa that occur in a variety of habitats outside of the state.

Natural communities are not listed in order of frequency of occurrence, but are rather derived from the full set of natural communities, organized by Ecological Group. In many cases, the general habitat descriptions should provide greater clarity and direction to the surveyor. In future versions of the Rare Species Explorer, we hope to incorporate natural community fidelity ranks for each taxon.

Associated Plants

Blue-joint grass (Calamagrostis canadensis), fox sedge (Carex vulpinoidea), daisy fleabane (Erigeron strigosus), common boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum), tall sunflower (Helianthus giganteus), soft rush (Juncus effusus), winged loosestrife (Lythrum alatum), red-stalked plantain (Plantago rugelii), pendulous bulrush (Scirpus pendulus), New England aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae), frost aster (Symphyotrichum pilosum), and blue vervain (Verbena hastata).

Management Recommendations

This species is associated with habitats characterized by a fluctuating water table, and likely depends on water drawdowns for seedling recruitment. Protect the hydrology of occupied habitat and use prescribed fire to maintain open conditions. Manual brush and tree removal may be necessary to reduce woody encroachment. Avoid degradation of occupied habitat by restricting use of off-road vehicles and controlling invasive species.

Survey Methods

Random meander search covers areas that appear likely to have rare taxa, based on habitat and the judgment of the investigator.

  • Meander search

    • Survey Period: From first week of July to fourth week of August


Survey References

  • Elzinga, C.L., D.W. Salzer, and J.W. Willoughby. 1998. Measuring and Monitoring Plant Populations. The Nature Conservancy and Bureau of Land Management, Denver. BLM Technical Reference 1730-1. 477pp.
  • Goff, G.F., G.A. Dawson, and J.J. Rochow. 1982. Site examination for Threatened and Endangered plant species. Environmental Management 6(4): 307-316
  • Nelson, J.R. 1984. Rare Plant Field Survey Guidelines. In: J.P. Smith and R. York. Inventory of rare and endangered vascular plants of California. 3rd Ed. California Native Plant Society, Berkeley. 174pp.
  • Nelson, J.R. 1986. Rare Plant Surveys: Techniques For Impact Assessment. Natural Areas Journal 5(3):18-30.
  • Nelson, J.R. 1987. Rare Plant Surveys: Techniques for Impact Assessment. In: Conservation and management of rare and endangered plants. Ed. T.S. Elias. California Native Plant Society, Sacramento. 8pp.

Technical References

  • Brooks, R.E., and S.E. Clemants. 2000. Juncus. In: Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico. 19+ vols. New York and Oxford. Vol. 24, pp. 211–255. Available at:
  • Gleason, H. A., and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. Second edition. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx. 910pp.
  • Gray, A. 1950. Gray's Manual of Botany; eighth ed. Van Nostrand Reinghold, New York. 1632pp.
  • Holmgren, N.H. 1998. Illustrated Companion to Gleason and Cronquist's Manual. Illustrations of the vascular plants of Northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. New York Botanical Garden, Bronx. 937pp.
  • Voss, E.G., and A.A. Reznicek. 2012. Field Manual of Michigan Flora. University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, MI. 1008 pp.