Rush - Encyclopedia

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RUSH. Under the name of rush or rushes, the stalks or hollow stem-like leaves of several plants have minor industrial applications. The common rushes (species of Juncus; see Juncaceae) are used in many parts of the world for chairbottoms, mats and basket-work, and the pith serves as wicks in open oil-lamps and for tallow candles - whence rushlight: The fibrous stems and leaves of the bulrush or reed-mace, Typha angustifolia, are used in N. India for ropes, mats and baskets. Scirpus and other Cyperaceae are used for chairbottoms, mats and thatch; the rush mats of Madras are made from a species of Cyperus. The sweet-rush, yielding essential oil, is a grass, Andropogon Schoenanthus, known also as lemon grass. Large quantities of the "horse-tail," Equisetum hiemale, are used under the name of Dutch or scouring rush for scouring metal and other hard surfaces on account of the large proportion of silica the plant contains. Flowering rush is Butomus umbellatus (see Alismaceae); wood - rush is the common name for Luzula (see Juncaceae). Acorus Calamus, sweet-flag, is also known as sweet-rush.

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