Herbs, perennial, strongly tufted, to 4 dm. Rhizomes densely short-branched. Culms terete. Cataphylls several. Leaves: blade absent or rarely present, to 1 cm. Inflorescences 2--5-flowered, loosely compact; primary bract usually longer than inflorescence. Flowers pedicellate; tepals brown to chestnut brown with green midstripe, lanceolate or widely so, (4--)5--8 mm, margins clear; inner series loosely subtending capsule at maturity, shorter; stamens 6, filaments 0.7--1 mm, anthers 1.1--1.6 mm; style 0.2 mm. Capsules brown to chestnut brown, 3-locular, oblate, 4.5--7(--8) x 1.8--2.2 mm, nearly equal to or exceeding perianth. Seeds amber, body oblate, 0.5--0.6 mm. Flowering and fruiting summer. Exposed slopes, stream banks, and meadows in montane and alpine areas; 1600--4000 m; Alta., B.C., N.W.T., Yukon; Alaska, Ariz., Calif., Colo., Idaho, Mont., Nev., N.Mex., Oreg., Utah, Wash., Wyo. Plants with capsules distinctly longer than the perianth have been referred to as Juncus drummondii var. subtriflorus. Those plants frequently occur sympatrically with J. drummondii (strict sense) through most of its range, leaving considerable doubt as to the value of recognizing such variation.
Cronquist et al. 1977, FNA 2000
Common Name: Drummond's rush Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Graminoid General: Densely tufted perennial with many stems, stems terete, 10-40 cm tall, with basal sheaths 20-60 cm long. Vegetative: Blade absent or with a bristle-like blade to 5 cm. Inflorescence: Flowers 2-5, loosely compact and pedicellate, appearing lateral to the stem, closely aggregated; primary bract usually longer than inflorescence, tepals brown to chestnut brown with green midstripe, lanceolate, acuminate, 5-8 mm, margins clear; inner series loosely subtending capsule, shorter. Capsules brown to chestnut brown, 3- locular, oblate, 4.5-7 mm by 1.8-2.2 mm, equal to or exceeding perianth. Ecology: Found in meadows, along streambanks and on slopes at higher elevation from 5,000-12,000 ft (1524-3658 m); flowers July-August. Notes: This is a cordilleran species that is usually found at higher elevations. This is an unlikely identification found at Fort Bowie, a collection is necessary. Ethnobotany: Unknown, but other species in the genus have uses. Etymology: Juncus comes from the Latin jungere, to join or bind, drummondii is named for Thomas Drummond (1790-1835) a Scottish naturalist. Synonyms: None Editor: SBuckley, 2010