Alphabetical Plant Listing

Equisetum hyemale (Horsetail)

Horsetail, Rough Horsetail, Dutch Rush, Dutch Rushes, Pewterwort, Scouring Rush, Shave Grass, Snake Grass, Scouringrush Horsetail


A good vertical accent plant, Equisetum hyemale (Horsetail) is a spreading, evergreen perennial boasting tall, slender, hollow, bamboo-like stems. Cylindrical, jointed, usually unbranched, the dark green stems display rough longitudinal ridges. Rising up from the plant rhizomes, they are adorned with a ring of black and ash gray sheath at each joint (node). They are particularly noticeable in winter and provide significant interest to the garden. This non-flowering, seedless plant reproduces by spores (like the ferns), which are contained in pine cone-like fruiting heads, 1 in. long (2.5 cm), at the tips of the vegetative stems. The strongly upright stems of this species look great in the water garden and provide a lovely background for other pond plants. Good plant for covering a wet low spot where nothing else will grow. A survivor of Carboniferous Age in Europe and North America, Equisetum is probably the most ancient living genus of vascular plants.

  • Grows up to 2-4 ft. tall (60-120 cm) and 1-6 ft. spread (30-180 cm). This plant will spread aggressively by branched, creeping rhizomes to form large colonies if not restrained.
  • Performs best in full sun or part shade in fertile, moist to wet soils. While it thrives in consistently moist garden soil, it can also be planted in standing water to 4 in. deep (10 cm).
  • This architectural plant is highly versatile. It may be grown at the edge of a pond or water garden, in boggy areas, in shallow water. Great for containers too.
  • Requires very little care, is virtually disease-free, pest-free and provides year-round interest
  • Remove any dead or damaged stems to improve appearance.
  • Once established, Equisetum hyemale can be difficult to remove by digging because its rhizomes spread wide and deep, and any small section of rhizome left behind can sprout a new plant. In water gardens, plant in pots at water bottom to contain growth.
  • Propagate by division in spring.
  • Native to Eurasia, Canada and the U.S.

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Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 9
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Ornamental Grasses, Perennials
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 2' – 4' (60cm – 120cm)
Spread 1' – 6' (30cm – 180cm)
Water Needs Average, High
Maintenance Average
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Poorly Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen
Tolerance Wet Soil
Garden Uses Patio and Containers, Ponds and Streams
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Informal and Cottage, Japanese Garden

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By fotoaway, Bildagentur Zoonar GmbH, Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 9
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Ornamental Grasses, Perennials
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 2' – 4' (60cm – 120cm)
Spread 1' – 6' (30cm – 180cm)
Water Needs Average, High
Maintenance Average
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Poorly Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen
Tolerance Wet Soil
Garden Uses Patio and Containers, Ponds and Streams
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Informal and Cottage, Japanese Garden

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