Equisetum hyemale

Tracheophyta EquisetopsidaEquisetaceaeEquisetumEquisetum hyemale


A slow-growing, evergreen herb forming colonies of shoots from branching rhizomes. 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. 0?610 m (Glen Lyon, Mid Perth).



World Distribution

Circumpolar Boreo-temperate element.

Broad Habitats

Light (Ellenberg): 5

Moisture (Ellenberg): 7

Reaction (Ellenberg): 7

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 6


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1108

Life form information

Height (cm): 100

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary

Non-bulbous geophyte (rhizome, corm or tuber)

Comment on Life Form

rhizomatous geophyte with wintergreen stems



Clonality - primary

Rhizome far-creeping

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 238

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 112

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 0

Atlas Change Index: 0.3

Distribution information

JNCC Designations


PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish plants. (.zip 1455KB) This dataset was compiled and published in 2004, and last updated in November 2008. Download includes an Excel spreadsheet of the attributes, and a PDF explaining the background and nomenclature. Note that the PDF version is the booklet as published, whereas the Excel spreadsheet incorporates subsequent corrections. A hardcopy can be purchased from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.