Equisetum hyemale (Rough Horsetail)


Summary Information


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.


Photos Information


Habitats Information

Broad Habitats

Broadleaved, mixed and yew woodland
Fen, marsh and swamp (not wooded)
Rivers and streams

Light (Ellenberg): 5 Information

Moisture (Ellenberg): 7 Information

Reaction (Ellenberg): 7 Information

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 6 Information

Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0 Information

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3 Information

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14 Information

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1108 Information

Life Form

Life Form Information

Height (cm): 100

Perennation - primary


Perennation - secondary

Life Form - primary

Non-bulbous geophyte (rhizome, corm or tuber)

Life Form - secondary

Comment on Life Form

rhizomatous geophyte with wintergreen stems



Clonality - primary

Rhizome far-creeping

Clonality - secondary


Distribution Information

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

Conservation Status

Conservation Status Information

Plantatt Conservation Status

Other Accounts

Other Accounts Information


References Information

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.