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.

    Identification difficulty

    Cultivated land and gardens, waste ground.

    When to see it

    Fertile cones ripe March to May. Sterile shoots May to October

    Life History


    UK Status

    Very common throughout Britain.

    VC55 Status

    Very common (sometimes invasive) in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 555 of the 617 tetrads.

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    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

    UK Map