Rushes somewhat resemble grasses, with leaflike, cylindrical stems and tiny, inconspicuous flowers clustered near stem tips. Some have a rigid, upright habit; stems of others are twisted into spirals. Specialists usually suggest planting them with grasses or aquatic plants at the edge of a pond or stream, in water, or among stones and pebbles.
J. effusus. SOFT RUSH. Native to many temperate regions of the world. To 2 ft. high and wide. Medium green stems are erect, arching somewhat toward tips. Stems turn brown with frost. J. e spiralis and its selections 'Twister' and 'Unicorn' have corkscrew foliage.
J. inflexus. HARD RUSH. Native to many parts of the world. Upright, blue-gray stems form a clump to 2 ft. tall, 2 ft. wide. 'Afro' grows to 11 ft. tall and 2 ft. wide; with coiled stems. 'Lovesick Blues' forms a striking 3-ft. mound of steely blue stems.
J. patens. CALIFORNIA GRAY RUSH. Zones MS, LS, CS; USDA 7-9. Native to California and Oregon. To 2 ft. high and wide, with stiffly upright green or gray-green stems. Tolerates more heat and drought than J. effusus but thrives best in moist soil or even shallow water. Gray-green 'Carman's Gray' and blue-gray 'Elk Blue' are good selections.