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Introduction to the Rushes (Juncus) Workshop – Hosted by the CNPS North Coast Chapter – March 18

March 18

Instructor: Gordon Leppig  

March 18, 2023, 9:00AM—5:00PM 

Cal Poly Humboldt, Arcata, CA
For more information contact Gordon Leppig at

Workshop Description

Juncus is a diverse, ecologically important, and taxonomically complex genus. Though beautiful and common, many rushes can be challenging to identify. With nearly 80 taxa occurring in California, several rare taxa, and many wetland dominants, the ability to sight-recognize and key them is critical to conducting wetland delineations, habitat assessments, and vegetation typing, as well as implementing habitat restoration and management projects.

With a focus on northwestern California taxa, this workshop offers tools for demystifying some of the challenging key steps and morphologic characteristics in the Jepson Manual 2nd. ed., and Jepson eFlora. We will also review relevant name changes and give an overview of several taxonomic complexes as described in the Flora of North America (FNA) and the taxonomic literature. Participants will gain a deeper understanding of several widely-distributed rushes in California. Techniques and tips for distinguishing and keying closely related taxa will be valuable to wetland ecologists, field botanists, horticulturalists, land managers, and botany students.

Workshop Objectives  

This introductory workshop is suitable for those with beginningto intermediate experience with keying Juncus.  Principal workshop goals are to 1) increase understanding of common morphological terms used in the Jepson Manual 2nd. ed., Jepson eFlora and other floras, such as the FNA; 2) demystify challenging or unclear key couplets; 3) review several closely related species complexes, and; 4) increase familiarity with several common northwestern California taxa.  The workshop will begin with a broad overview of Juncus evolution, taxonomy, morphology, ecology, and biogeography.  The remainder of the workshop will be keying and discussing several species occurring in each of the six groups in the Jepson Manual 2nd. ed., and Jepson eFlora. 


Gordon Leppig is a Senior Environmental Scientist Emeritus with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife who has been a student of wetland plants for over 30 years.  Prior to joining CDFW, he was the Cal Poly Humboldt Herbarium Curator for 10 years.  He has taught workshops on sedges, grasses, and other plants for CNPS, the Cal Poly Humboldt Natural History Museum, and the Jepson Herbarium. 

Ticket Pricing:
$150 CNPS Members
$175 General Admission

Register Here


Humboldt State University
1 Harpst St
Arcata, CA 95521 United States
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North Coast