Equisetum arvense

Scientific name: Equisetum arvense


Common names: “Horsetail” “Field horsetail”

Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial weed, highly invasive tuber bearing root system


Light: Full sun – part shade

Exposure: Sheltered

Soil: Acidic

Moisture: Moist – wet and saturated soils with poor drainage


Image result for horsetail

Leaf and Stem shape: Sterile stems with whorls of green four angled leaf like branches

Flower: Leafless fertile stems with a spore bearing cone on topImage result for equisetum arvense

Maintenance: Improve drainage to help slow it down but they still spread in dry conditions, can help to remove it by “killing it with kindness” with an inch of agricultural lime and 2 inches of manure, some success may be achieved with vinegar spray, roundup will not work on these

Propagate: By every little piece of root and spores

Pests & Disease: Caribou, moose, sheep and bears eat this plant, for some grizzly bears it is the main part of their diet in June – July

Comments: Considered a living fossil, these plants are the most ancient of all species growing since before the dinosaurs when they were one of the first plants to dominate the planet growing to the size of trees, “If it’s in a garden there is a zero chance of getting rid of it” , horsetail accumulate large quantities of silica in their tissues, has been used traditionally for skin and hair herbal remedies


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