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Cornish Red Data (2009)

The descriptive text, below the map, is from the Cornish Red Data Book (2009). The map on this web page depicts the organisms distribution and shows the records made pre-2000 and those made since.

Juncus capitatus - Dwarf Rush

Range & Status

Native; an European Southern-temperate species. In Britain this dwarf annual occurs on the Channel Islands, in Cornwall and Anglesey.

Regional Distribution

It has been recorded from a total of 32 1km squares on The Lizard, four in West Penwith and and one near Nare Head (SW93) in East Cornwall. Now known from eight 1 km squares on The Lizard (SW61, SW71 and SW72) and the East Cornwall site. It has been recorded on the Isles of Scilly.

Habitat & Ecology

A plant of short turf and bare places over very shallow soils around low serpentine outcrops, especially where water seeps down into the earth from the rocks. It can also occur in winter-wet serpentine erosion pans with Chives Allium schoenoprasum . Conditions that favour Pigmy Rush Juncus pygmaeus do not favour J. capitatus . A drought in the previous year, followed by a warm wet spring favours it best. It flowers early in May and will often have set seed and disappeared by the time J. pygmaeus is coming in to flower.


Threatened by a lack of grazing.


Much of The Lizard is SSSI and managed by the National Trust and Natural England.


I.J. Bennallick, S. Board, C.N. French, P.A. Gainey, C. Neil, R. Parslow, A. Spalding and P.E. Tompsett. eds. 2009. Red Data Book for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. 2nd Edition.Croceago Press.

The Cornish Red Data Book Project was led by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Federation for Biological Recorders (CISFBR). The full text and species accounts (minus the maps) are available on the CISFBR website.