The natural habitats of this deciduous herb include river banks, fixed dune grassland, sea-cliffs and montane flushes, but it has become closely associated with human activity. Being long-lived, vigorous, resistant to herbicides and tolerant of drier conditions than other Equisetum species, it is now frequent on roadsides, railways, paths, soil banks and waste ground, and in quarries and gardens, where its spread is assisted by rhizome fragments. 0?1005 m (Beinn Heasgarnich, Mid Perth).
There has been no change in the distribution of this species.
Circumpolar Wide-boreal element.