Field horsetail – Equisetum arvense

Field horsetail

Equisetum arvense L.
Equisetaceae (Horsetail family)

Life cycle

Perennial, spore-producing plant.


Not present.


Vegetative stems are green and branch in whorls. Stems may have a bottle-brush appearance and should not exceed 2 feet in height. Stems die back to the ground in winter.

Flowers and fruit

Erect, unbranched, white to brown fruiting stalks (stems) bear terminal spore-releasing cones. Flowers are not produced.


Spores and prolific rhizomes.

Similar weeds

Scouringrush (E. hyemale L.)
Differs by having larger evergreen stems with little or no branching. Grows only in wet areas.

Field horsetail patch in field
Field horsetail vegetative stem
Close-up of field horsetail stem
Field horsetail fruiting stalk

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Plant & Pest Diagnostics

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