Plants

Churrero Junco (Scirpus holoschoenus)

Whether you have a pond or want to have a plant in a bucket without holes, the Scirpus holoschoenus is a very interesting species because although it does not produce particularly showy flowers, it is so easy to care that it will surely not give you problems.

In addition, as a curiosity, you should know that it is capable of withstanding frost, not very strong, but intense enough so that you can grow it outdoors all year round in climates whose minimum temperature is up to seven degrees below zero.

Origin and characteristics

Image – Wikimedia/ Isidre blanc

Known as grouped junco or churrero rush, it is a lively plant native to the humid and temperate areas of Europe ; in Spain we find it in almost the entire Mediterranean region, from the east of the Iberian Peninsula to the Balearic Islands. In the past it was very common in rivers, swamps and streams, and in any place where there was fresh water; However, today, due to urban sprawl, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find it in what used to be its natural habitat.

It is characterized by reaching a height of 40 to 50 centimeters, with circular stems that, having no leaves (it only has a few pods at the base), are green because they are responsible for photosynthesis. The inflorescences, which sprout from spring to early summer, are lateral, and are made up of globose heads with numerous 2.5 to 4mm spikelets. The flowers have stamens and styles, being separated and surrounded by a small scale called the glume.

What is the care of Scirpus holoschoenus ?

Although it is not a plant that we could label as a garden itself, it is beautiful. Of course, not everyone can like it (that is impossible since each of us has our own tastes), but if what you are looking for is a green plant, curious for not having leaves, and that it is easy to maintain, Here is its care guide:

Location

The Scirpus holoschoenus is a plant that must be outdoors, either in full sun or in semi-shade. If you have a pond, put it on the side where the water level is lowest; And if you want to have it in a rubber bucket or flowerpot, make the container some holes in the upper edge so that, in case it rained a lot and the earth was soaked, the excess water could come out somewhere.

Earth

Image – Wikimedia/ Xemenendura

  • Garden: it is not demanding, but it must have good drainage.
  • Pot or bucket: you can mix garden soil with 30% perlite (on sale here ).

Irrigation

The Scirpus holoschoenus or churrero rush needs very frequent waterings. You have to prevent the soil from drying out. Therefore, during the summer it may be necessary to water daily, and the rest of the year every two or three days.

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Taking into account that it is a plant that is usually kept in ponds or similar, we recommend the use of organic fertilizers in order to avoid harming the fauna that lives in those places or that go there to drink a little water.

Multiplication

The churrero rush multiplies by seeds in spring. They have to be sown in pots or seedbeds with universal cultivation substrate, and placing these outside, in semi-shade. This way they will germinate in about a month.

Planting or transplanting time

In spring, when the risk of frost has passed.

Plagues and diseases

It doesn’t have one, but we advise keeping an eye on snails and mollusks during the rainy season.

Rusticity

It resists frosts down to -7ºC. In addition, it is not affected by high temperatures of up to 40ºC as long as you have plenty of water within reach.

What uses is it given?

Image – Flickr/ chemazgz

Ornamental

We have already said it, it is not a species that has showy flowers, but we believe that in a pond or so it looks great, either alone or in the company of other similar plants.

Other uses

In its places of origin it is used especially to make baskets, but it is also used in the manufacture of furniture and in construction.

How is the churrero junco different from the common rush?

The reed (Juncus) and the Scirpus holoschoenus are plants that have almost the same characteristics and live in the same places, therefore, they can be easily confused. But the stems are different: those of the rush are tough and cannot be twisted unless you are very strong; on the other hand, those of our protagonist bend well with the fingers.

Where to buy?

You may not find it in conventional nurseries, so we advise you to visit a producer of native plants, or if not, look at sites like eBay or Amazon.

What do you think of the Scirpus holoschoenus ? Have you heard of this vivacious plant before?

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