Field Horsetail - Equisetum arvense
A rhizomatous plant, it has sterile, green stems 20 to 80 cm, erect or decumbent, slightly rough, with 6 to 18 vertical ridges shallower than in Marsh Horsetail. Branches numerous in regular whorls. Sheaths loose green with erect black teeth lacking obvious white edges. Cones in spring are 1 to 4 cm long and terminal on ivory to pinkish thicker unbranched stems whose sheaths are large and pale brown.
Other horsetails, especially Equisetum palustre and E fluviatile; all can grow in marshy places
If in doubt, cut through the central stem to look at the arrangements of hollows.
The central hollow of E arvense has a central hollow less than half the size of the peripheral hollows, unlike E palustre, where the central hollow is about the same size as the peripherals. E fluviatile has a large central hollow, more than three-quarters the width of the stem.
Cultivated land and gardens, waste ground.
Fertile cones ripe March to May. Sterile shoots May to October
Very common throughout Britain.
Very common (sometimes invasive) in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 555 of the 617 tetrads.
Leicestershire & Rutland Map
Enter a town or village to see local records
Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015