Herbs of the Holyland by Nissim Krispil

advanced search »
Sharp rush
Common name:

Sharp rush

Synonym name:

Hebrew name:

סמר חד

Scientific name:

Juncus acutus


Juncaceae - הסמריים

Arabic name:

סמר اندفاع

see more images →
perennial plant
0.5-1 m
Flowering color:
Flowering period:
Growing areas:
Sharp rush is Common in most parts of Israel in moist habitats, such as riverbanks, swamps, salt marshes and moist soils.
sharp rush is a Perennial herb from the Juncaceae family. It grows in moist and wet areas.  Its Stems are cylindrical and grow out from the rhizome in a group theire edges are sharp; the leaves are gathered at the base of the plant and they are also cylindrical and sharped. The inflorescence is a panicle or a head and it grows on stalks, in reddish-brown color.
 sharp rush flowers and seeds are used by the Bedouin of the Negev and Sinai as a medicine to prevent bleeding after childbirth and for starting abortion. North African Jews prepare decoction of sharp rush seeds as a remedy for kidney stones. The decoction from the seeds is also very recommended as a remedy for Diseases of the digestive tract, Dysentery and diarrhea.
For stomachaches and Diseases of the digestive tract
Boil 4 heaping tablespoons of seeds in one liter of water, strain and drink 4-3 cups per day.
The origin of the Hebrew name of sharp rush - 'samar'  comes from Arabic. The name was given due to the similarity of the sharp stems and leaves to nails - 'masmar'. 
Many researchers tend to identify the sharp rush with what written in the book of job " Can the rush shoot up without mire? Can the reed-grass grow without water? " (Job 8, 11). The Stems and leaves of Samar were used for preparing mats, in all ancient times.
How to use