Juncus, Corkscrew Rush, Twisted Arrows 'Spiralis'

Juncus effusus

Family: Juncaceae
Genus: Juncus (JUN-kus) (Info)
Species: effusus (eff-YOO-sus) (Info)
Cultivar: Spiralis
Additional cultivar information:(aka Juncus effusus f. spiralis)
View this plant in a garden


Ornamental Grasses and Bamboo

Ponds and Aquatics

Water Requirements:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Very high moisture needs; suitable for bogs and water gardens

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


Grown for foliage



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)


9-12 in. (22-30 cm)


USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone

Can be grown as an annual



Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are good for drying and preserving

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:


Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Smiths, Alabama

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Phoenix, Arizona

Queen Creek, Arizona

Crockett, California

Roseville, California

Vacaville, California

West Hollywood, California

Pueblo, Colorado

Bartow, Florida

Boca Raton, Florida

Bradenton, Florida

Brooksville, Florida

Clermont, Florida

Fort Mc Coy, Florida

Fort Myers, Florida

Hollywood, Florida

Pensacola, Florida

Stuart, Florida

Venice, Florida

Atlanta, Georgia

Dallas, Georgia

Lizella, Georgia

Marietta, Georgia

Chicago, Illinois

Mapleton, Illinois

Barbourville, Kentucky

Mount Sterling, Kentucky

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Pollock, Louisiana

Dearborn Heights, Michigan

Isle, Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Eunice, Missouri

Mitchell, Nebraska

Jersey City, New Jersey

Corrales, New Mexico

Schenectady, New York

Utica, New York

West Kill, New York

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Bay Village, Ohio

Cleveland, Ohio

Dayton, Ohio

Westerville, Ohio


Portland, Oregon

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania(2 reports)

Spring Grove, Pennsylvania

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Greenville, South Carolina

Greenwood, South Carolina

Austin, Texas

Colleyville, Texas

Crowley, Texas

Dallas, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas(2 reports)

Houston, Texas

New Braunfels, Texas

Plano, Texas

Richmond, Texas

South Jordan, Utah

Auburn, Washington

Bellevue, Washington

Kalama, Washington

Midland, Washington

Port Townsend, Washington(2 reports)

Puyallup, Washington

Spokane, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Oct 18, 2017, lightyellow from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL wrote:

These are super cool and native to the US.
Mine was not labeled as having high water needs so I was keeping it in a container with average-needs plants, oops. It survived the hot Florida summer sun but I think it'll do better once I move it in a slowly draining pot.

Some good native companions are Blue and Red cardinal flower which also like boggy conditions and can handle being in close quarters.


On Aug 27, 2017, daveinakron from Cuyahoga Falls, OH wrote:

My Corkscrew Rush plants do great but aren't getting much bigger and I have had them for 5 years. Does anyone know if you can dig them up and put them in pots and bring them inside for the colder months.




On Aug 19, 2017, Cairnz from Bay Village, OH wrote:

I bought this on sale at Home Depot in the fall of 2015. The plastic tag says resists deer/low water. When I looked it up and found that it was a pond plant I made my husband bury a 2 liter bottle on one side and a 1 liter bottle on the other side. My garden gets flooded late winter and early spring so that is no problem for this plant. But the first summer I poured water in the bottles (with tiny holes in the bottoms) all summer long. This summer I've not babied the rush at all and it's beautiful. My soil is sandy and other than late winter and early spring it drains well. I can't get over how well the rush is growing.


On Jun 6, 2017, irenesgarden from Auburn, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Hi. I live in Auburn Wa. I planted this a few years ago in dry clay and also in average soil. Both plants did great with little water once established. I have gotten rid of them as well as atleast 20 starts as the plants have seeded all over!!!! ( even with my pinching off seed heads constantly!) I loved the plant but it was way too much to keep in bounds! just wondering if anyone else has had this problem? It even seeds in my dry gravel bed. I was wondering if all rushes do this? I love them as a textural plant.


On Nov 8, 2016, imsnow from Roseville, CA wrote:

I have two planted in a parking strip that gets too much water in the winter. See pictures. Theyve grown from 6 plants to 2 x 2. They receive full sun. I live in Sacramento, and our summers are brutally hot and dry.

The major cities in United States with the most sun year round are Phoenix and Las Vegas. Both are sunny for 85 percent of the time between sunrise and sunset, amounting to over 3800 hours a year.It gets even sunnier during July and August in Sacramento, California. At Sacramento the sun shines 96% of the time and all but nine days in those two summer months have mainly clear skies. Point is, these bad boys take full sun in stride!

In the summer I hand water them a few times a week in additional to the daily drip they receive. They are always ... read more


On Jun 26, 2015, AmyRey23 from Lizella, GA wrote:

This plant was an impulse purchase for me, too. How can you not get sucked in by the twists? About a third of the blades were twisted, the rest straight. I brought it home and put it in a plastic pot. It sits next to the garage, in morning sun and the dirt in the pot is covered with pinestraw. It gets watered every other day, at least and is doing GREAT. It has easily tripled in size. However... my issue is that it doesn't twist anymore. None of the blades are curled... all straight. I know it's a corkscrew rush because it had some twisty blades when I bought it. What am I doing to it to make it straight? :(

It is very hot here in Central Georgia at the moment but I wouldn't think that's my problem. The new blades started growing in straight immediately... way ba... read more


On Nov 8, 2014, heatherbee from Puyallup, WA wrote:

Mine is doing quite well. I planted it near a downspout in good compost rich soil and just water in the dry summer months. (I top dress my beds with local compost every fall as well) It was trippled in size in a year and a half. The odd flowers towards the end of the corkscrews were a surprise. Its a pain to selectivly prune each brown tangled corkscrew. That would be my only real complaint. Next spring I plan to cut the whole plant back and divide it because it's larger than I expected it to be.


On Feb 13, 2014, tamphree from Northlake, SC wrote:

i purchased this plant 8 years ago, also with no care instrucions included. After unsuccessfully trying to grow this plant in my pot w/holes in full shade, I decided to plant it in the ground w/full sun-partial shade. Unfortunately the plant seemed to just die. Fast forward 8 years to a very unusually rainy summer in 2013. I was pulling weeds from my garden when i noticed a very small clump of curly green stuff. Continued to deweed and found literally 1000's of tiny curly clumps. Every-other-day for a month i was repotting curly juncus'. Since technology had advanced so much i decided to google about the curly plant. This is where i learned the name of & how to care for that mysteriously beautiful plant I knew nothing about in 2005.


On Mar 2, 2013, andrea25sw from New Braunfels, TX wrote:

I was at Lowe's today and purchased 6 potted corkscrew rush plants, but the stems were straight. I asked someone there if they would curl to create the corkscrew and he said yes, although I'm not sure I believe him now...Can someone tell me if the stems are straight for part of their growth?? I always assumed new growth would also be curled.


On Jul 16, 2012, Daves_sister from Galway,
Ireland wrote:

someone above said they killed theirs. Don't throw it out just yet. Mine has come back from the brink a few times due to neglect (no water at all for weeks during a hard frost). It looked dead for a few months, but I left it under a leaking gutter and it eventually started to revive. This is a very forgiving plant!
Also a tiny seeling started to grow in a bare crack in the pavement nearby, so I would imagine that growing from seed would be super easy.
I had no label for mine either. I figured out it likes water, sun and slightly acid soil... But a pond plant? I'm going out to plunge it into a bucket of water right now. thanks for sharing!


On Jan 28, 2012, rebekb from Foxborough, MA wrote:

I bought this at a local nursery. It said full sunlight, but it was such a neat plant I thought I'd try it in my sun-challenged apartment. Initially it died back quite a bit, even though it is in my sunniest window. I've worked harder since to make sure it is boggy, and I added a dayspot grow light to compensate for the lack of light in the winter. The grow light is on a few hours in the late afternoon, about six inches from the plant - and it loves it. It's exploded in growth since getting that extra "hit" of light.


On Jul 14, 2011, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

Nice for a variation in texture in the garden. Definitely interesting. Blooms in May-June in my garden, but they are insignificant.


On Apr 4, 2011, mjillhjp from Houston, TX wrote:

Hi ya'll. This is a first for me. I was in Bentonville, AR. two weeks ago, when I first saw this plant. I almost bought it for my daughter's garden. Since returning to Houston, I purchased several at Houston Plant and Garden just yesterday. I'm grateful for the posts shared here, since I did not have a clue as to the care of this plant. The tag is not helpful. Looking for a lovely, fun and conversation evoking experience. My grandkids are moving to New Orleans. Thinking they can have fun with a plant of their own.


On Nov 21, 2010, tree_ee from Brenham, TX wrote:

I, too, bought mine (on impulse) at Lowes. The care instructions--specifically for Juncus effusus 'Spiralis'--say "Water usage: Low, once established."

I'd never have bought them if I'd known they're pond plants, since I try to avoid the water-hogs. They sure _look_ like succulents . . .


On Sep 5, 2010, tasson from New Kensington, PA wrote:

I didn't know this was a pond plant and put it in my shade garden. I watered it a few times after I planted it but stopped once it looked like it was established. It got through winter with a lot of deep snow and has done well again this summer - even 'blooming' with insignificant flowers. I just recently found out it is a pond plant and since I have a pond I am going to move it. This will be a good test since it is near fall and will have to survive the shock of moving and the test of winter in the pond. If it doesn't make it I will definitely get another as I really like the look of this. The corkscrews make it a real eyecatcher.


On Aug 25, 2009, allgr8dogs from Phoenix, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

I float mine in my pond by using styrofoam rings that hold the upper 3" of the pot out of water. I have one in my classroom in an African Violet pot (just set the plant pot in the upper part of the African Violet pot with water). My students' really enjoy the unique look of this plant, and I also enjoy it in my pond.


On Jul 16, 2009, vossner from East Texas,
United States (Zone 8a) wrote:

I was told by an owner of nursery specializing in aquatic plants that the crown cannot be below water b/c it will rot. I didn't know that tidbit at the time and mine died.


On Dec 26, 2008, greenjulia from Birmingham, AL wrote:

I bought 2 of these plants in the summer at a local Lowe's - they were on clearance for $1 each (gallon pots) since they had been allowed to dry out and were looking pretty bad. I keep them very wet and trimmed off all of the dead foliage and now both plants are thriving. I am considering placing the plastic pot in a more decorative container without drainage holes to keep the soil more moist.


On Jan 11, 2008, Sharlamatlock from St. Louis, MO (Zone 6a) wrote:

I potted this plant in potting soil, then filled the bottom of a seperate container with rocks and covered the rocks with water. I submerged the bottom part of the plant into the water, only about 1/3 of the way though. I divided the original plant once, gave half away, and divided the second half again. I have one half (pictured) in the front yard in full sun most of the day and it seems to love it. I have the other half on my back patio with bright, indirect morning sun and afternoon shade. Both plants are thriving. Also, the roots grow like mad. It needs to be trimmed or repotted pretty often. It is one of my favorites.


On Jul 23, 2006, GeorgiaJo from Dallas, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

We have it in a floating "island" in our little goldfish pond. It has grown so vigorously (fish-fertilizer and submerged roots) that we have had to trim the roots several times. Now even that isn't enough (after maybe 5 months of growth) and I have to divide it. Will try to plant some in a boggy area or a bog-pot and see if it does as well out of the water as it does in.


On May 11, 2006, bekron from Crowley, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

I have had this plant for a few months and have it in a large pot in full sun, the pot does not drain and I water it every day and it is very happy! I do not know yet how it will do in the HOT Texas summer. If it starts to show signs of damage I will create some sort of a bog for it. But as for now it is getting greener and larger and thicker at the bottom.


On Apr 27, 2006, RonniePitman wrote:

My corkscrew rush struggled along for months, yellowish and unhealthy looking. I learned that it likes lots of water, so I watered it more, to little effect. Finally I put it in a plastic nursery pot with no drainage, put some gravel on top of the soil, and submerged that pot in a larger pot of water. The water level is just above the gravel and now the plant is starting to look green and vigorous.


On Apr 15, 2006, WUVIE from Hulbert, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

A newbie to the Corkscrew myself, I learned just
in time to provide more water for my new plant before
it was too late. I swear, the corkscrews were trying
to form the letters "N E E D W A T E R".

Once I began keeping it wet or in water, it
thrived. I just love this little cutie!


On Dec 24, 2005, JaxFlaGardener from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

I was fascinated by this plant when I saw it for the first time in a local nursery that tends to carry some unusual plants. I had to have one! and brought it home and put it in my garden. Unfortunately, the plant did not come with any care instructions and it died, probably because I didn't provide enough water. I have a slim hope that there might be some life left in the rootstock that will regenerate some growth.

If I come by one of these plants again, I'll keep it in a pot and keep it wet (based on what I've read in the comments above). It is a real conversation piece and very attractive, I think.



On Jun 12, 2004, CatskillKarma from West Kill, NY wrote:

Not sure this is the cultivar--mine came from an informal sale without a label, but it is growing vigorously outdoors in a container without a drainage hole and overwintered successfully in a heavily mulched plastic pot. It was very cold last winter--several nights went below -20F. Contrary to the description above, it is currently flowering--small brown inflorescences up and down the stem. Very entertaining plant. Curly, vigorous, and charming.


On Mar 1, 2003, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Plant in the shallow end of your pond, or on a shelf - it should be only 1-6" deep in the water.