Rushes are important plants, which, along with sedges and cattails make up an important component of most wetlands. Found in the genus Juncus, they are very difficult to identify down to species (it requires dissecting the 'nut'.) Unlike sedges, rushes have round stems. They are filled with a spongy pulp, unlike grasses.

Rushes are important components of wetlands, filtering water flowing by them, stabilizing slopes, and providing habitat and food for wildlife. They are found throughout the Northern Hemisphere temperate and boreal regions - in fact, one species, Juncus balticus, is circumpolar, meaning it is found in all continents bordering the arctic.