Plantae > Tracheophyta > Polypodiopsida > Equisetales > Equisetaceae > Equisetum > Equisetum arvense

Equisetum arvense (scouring rush; field horsetail; western horsetail)


Wikipedia Abstract

Equisetum arvense, the field horsetail or common horsetail is a herbaceous perennial plant, native throughout the arctic and temperate regions of the northern hemisphere. It has separate sterile non-reproductive and fertile spore-bearing stems, growing from a perennial underground rhizomatous stem system. The fertile stems are produced in early spring and are non-photosynthetic, while the green sterile stems start to grow after the fertile stems have wilted, and persist through the summer until the first autumn frosts. It is commonly confused with mare's tail, Hippuris vulgaris.
View Wikipedia Record: Equisetum arvense



Bloom Period [1]  Spring
Drought Tolerance [1]  None
Edible [2]  May be edible. See the Plants For A Future link below for details.
Fire Tolerance [1]  None
Frost Free Days [1]  3 months 10 days
Fruit/Seed Abundance [1]  Medium
Fruit/Seed Begin [1]  Spring
Fruit/Seed End [1]  Fall
Growth Form [1]  Rhizomatous
Growth Period [1]  Spring
Growth Rate [1]  Rapid
Hazards [2]  Large quantities of the plant can be toxic. This is because it contains the enzyme thiaminase; In small quantities this enzyme will do no harm to people eating an adequate diet that is rich in vitamin B, though large quantities can cause severe health problems. The enzyme is destroyed by heat or thorough drying, so cooking the plant will remove the thiaminase; The plant also contains equisetic acid - see the notes on medicinal uses for more information;
Leaf Type [3]  Evergreen
Lifespan [2]  Perennial
Propagation [1]  Bare Root, Seed, Sprig, Tuber
Regrowth Rate [1]  Slow
Root Depth [1]  6 inches (15 cm)
Seed Spread Rate [1]  Slow
Seed Vigor [1]  Medium
Shape/Orientation [1]  Erect
Structure [3]  Fern
Usage [2]  The stems contain 10% silica and are used for scouring metal; They can also be used as a polish for brass, hardwood etc; The infused stem is an effective fungicide against mildew, mint rust and blackspot on roses; It also makes a good liquid feed; A light pink dye is obtained from the stem; It is yellow-gray according to another report; The plant has been used for making whistles;
Vegetative Spread Rate [1]  Moderate
Flower Color [1]  Green
Foliage Color [1]  Green
Fruit Color [1]  Green
Height [2]  24 inches (0.6 m)
Hardiness Zone Minimum [1]  USDA Zone: 2 Low Temperature: -50 F° (-45.6 C°) → -40 F° (-40 C°)
Light Preference [4]  Mostly Sunny
Soil Acidity [4]  Moderate Acid
Soil Fertility [4]  Intermediate
Soil Moisture [4]  Moist
Water Use [1]  High
Screening - Summer [1]  Porous
Screening - Winter [1]  Porous
View Plants For A Future Record : Equisetum arvense

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Attributes / relations provided by
1USDA Plants Database, U. S. Department of Agriculture
2Plants For A Future licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
3Kattge, J. et al. (2011b) TRY - a global database of plant traits Global Change Biology 17:2905-2935
4ECOFACT 2a Technical Annex - Ellenberg’s indicator values for British Plants, M O Hill, J O Mountford, D B Roy & R G H Bunce (1999)
5Making The Forest And Tundra Wildlife Connection
6Jorrit H. Poelen, James D. Simons and Chris J. Mungall. (2014). Global Biotic Interactions: An open infrastructure to share and analyze species-interaction datasets. Ecological Informatics.
7Biological Records Centre Database of Insects and their Food Plants
8Ecology of Commanster
9Exploring the Denali Food Web, ParkWise, National Park Service
10Microtus townsendii, John E. Cornely and B. J. Verts, MAMMALIAN SPECIES No. 325, pp. 1-9 (1988)
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License
Species taxanomy provided by GBIF Secretariat (2022). GBIF Backbone Taxonomy. Checklist dataset accessed via on 2023-06-13; License: CC BY 4.0