Toad Rush Seeds (Juncus bufonius)
Humble toad rush is one of our favorite plants. At only 2 to 6-inches tall, this annual grass-like plant scarcely gets any attention.
Yet for us it's extremely important in our own meadow restoration projects where it grows up immediately in the first year to form a thick mat of soil stabilizing vegetation that at first glance appears to smother every other seedling beneath it.
Look closer however and you'll notice that toad rush actually functions like a protective nurse crop for other, slower growing plants. And because it's an annual, it lives briefly, then tends to disappear from the plant community after the first season. Interestingly it produces a huge amount of seed that mostly remains dormant in the soil until presented with some catastrophic ground disturbance that allows it to sprout and begin the meadow lifecycle all over.
Next time you go for a walkabout, pay some attention to the "grass" growing in pavement cracks on a street -- you'll notice that a lot of it is actually toad rush! Did the seeds somehow spill into that crack from a mysterious "elsewhere?" Or was that toad rush seed actually long buried under the pavement only to germinate when a crack appeared?
While technically a "wetland" plant, toad rush is as tough as anything and will grow in most conditions with a bit of sun and the occasional trickle of water. It's the king of plants.
0.5 grams (Approximately 20,000 to 30,000 seeds)