Juncus tenuis, Path rush, is a hardy native rush that grows anywhere from 4-12" tall. Juncus tenuis forms dense tufts, with stiff green glabrous stems which terminate into a small, light green to tan inflorescence that blooms mid to late summer. Juncus tenuis is commonly called 'path rush' because of its hardiness to foot traffic and thus can make a good lawn or meadow pathway species.
Juncus tenius is a low-growing rush, with sturdy stems and an inconspicuous flower and seed head. It commonly appears within areas of high disturbance and compacted soil. Specifically, you will find this plant growing along meadow paths. In this way, they benefit greatly from human disturbances in local parks. Their fibrous root systems help to loosen compacted soil. This allows other plants to grow that cannot handle as much soil compaction. It avoids being browsed by mammalian herbivores by becoming stringy and tough in maturity. Their seeds are specially adapted to both provide food for wildlife, and, thanks to a sticky seed coating when wet, attach to passerby. This helps them to spread further on down the trail throughout the habitat. Juncus tenius is an important restoration plant, being one of the first to appear, readily spread, and is an underpinning throughout the succession of the meadow.