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EQUISETUM hyemale

Image of Equisetum hyemale

James H. Schutte

Family

Equisetaceae

Botanical Name

EQUISETUM hyemale

Plant Common Name

Horsetail

General Description

This ancient plant is flowerless and spreads by rhizomes. Commonly called horsetail, it is a hardy evergreen perennial that consists of fine, hollow, green stems divided by black-rimmed joints. It has a broad natural distribution and can be found growing in temperate regions throughout North America and Eurasia.

Horsetail prefers moist to wet organic-rich soil and will tolerate full sun to partial sun. It can become invasive if not properly contained or maintained and looks best in naturalistic environments.

Settlers used this plant to scour and clean dishes and pans, hence the name scouringrush horsetail.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    2 - 11

  • Sunset Zone

    A1, A2, A3, H1, H2, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    1'-3' / 0.3m - 0.9m

  • Native To

    World/Pandemic, North America, Europe, Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Poorly Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Wet Site

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water, Ample Water

  • Habit

    Thicket/Colonizing

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    None

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Gray Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Bog Garden, Container, Water Gardens

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Yes

  • Self-Sowing

    No