Rough Horsetail - Equisetum hyemale

Alternative names
Dutch Rush

A striking plant with bamboo type stems that have strongly marked black stripes on the sheaths. Plants may grow densely packed together, producing colonies of shoots from branching rhizomes, and may reach more than 1.5 metres in height. The stems are hollow.

Identification difficulty
Recording advice

This is quite a rare plant in our area.  Photographs are required showing the plants in situ and also a close up image of the sheaths.


It prefers heavy soils derived from sand or clay which are permanently moist and have a high mineral and silica content. It is usually found in shaded open woodland beside streams and rivers, but also grows in base-rich moorland flushes and sand dunes.

When to see it

All year round.

Life History

Evergreen perennial.

UK Status

Widespread, but infrequent in Britain.

VC55 Status

Rare and very local in Leicestershire and Rutland.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


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

UK Map