Equisetum arvense L.

Common Horsetail

Stems to 30-40 cm tall, branching above ground, spreading several metres below ground. Branches 4-angled. Sheath teeth 6-18, 2-3 mm long. Fertile stems shorter than and appearing before the sterile ones. Fertile region to 4 cm long.

Will tolerate cool conditions.

Introduced to Australia as a herbal remedy and botanical curiosity but in the Northern Hemisphere regarded as one of the world's worst weeds. It is now an aggressive weed of natural vegetation in Australia and New Zealand and should not be grown. It spreads by underground rhizomes that may extend to a depth of 1 m; they are extremely difficult to eradicate. It is naturalised in the Sydney region.

Northern Temperate.

Tall, branching stems; sheath teeth 6-18.

Source: Spencer, R. (1995). Equisetaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 1, Ferns, conifers & their allies. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

Hero image
kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Equisetopsida
order     Equisetales
family      Equisetaceae
genus       Equisetum L.