Equisetum  

(eh-qui-see' tum)

Common name: Horsetail

Family: Equisetaceae, Equisetum

Height x width: 3-5' x 1-2'

Growth rate: moderate

Foliage: small, scale-like and united into sheaths around each node; evergreen stems are hollow, obviously jointed and with many ridges resembling small green bamboo canes

Flowers: a non-showy and often inconspicuous sporophyll at the tips of stems

Hardiness: zones 2-4 to 9

Soil: moist to wet

Light: sun or part shade

Pests and Problems: none serious

Landscape habit, uses: edges of wet areas, ponds, water containers; accent plant for upright growth

Other interest:native to northern temperate regions; from the Latin equus meaning horse and seta meaning bristle, refering to the barren stems supposedly resembling a horse's tail; was used in the past as for cleaning or "scouring" hence a common name; children have also kept amused popping the stem joints

Other culture: aggressively spreads by stolons, so unless this is desired keep contained in a sunken pot

Propagation: division

Species and Cultivars:

Of the several available in the U.S., the following are the more common.

hyemale--Scouring Rush, Rough Horsetail; zones 4-9

hyemale var. robustum-- as above only to 9'

scirpoides--Dwarf Horsetail; zones 2-9, only 4-8"


©Authored by Dr. Leonard Perry, Professor, University of Vermont as part of PSS123 course.

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