Equisetum arvense

Tracheophyta EquisetopsidaEquisetaceaeEquisetumEquisetum arvense


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).



World Distribution

Circumpolar Wide-boreal element.

© G. Toone, IWNHAS

Broad Habitats

Light (Ellenberg): 7

Moisture (Ellenberg): 6

Reaction (Ellenberg): 6

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 6

Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.5

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14.5

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1087

Height (cm): 90

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary

Non-bulbous geophyte (rhizome, corm or tuber)



Clonality - primary

Rhizome far-creeping

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 2666

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 921

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 12

Atlas Change Index: 0.39

Weighted Changed Factor: -3

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


JNCC Designations