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Horse pipes Equisetum arvense

Phonetic Spelling
ek-wis-SEE-tum ar-VEN-see
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Field Horsetail is a native annual found along streambanks, roadsides, and disturbed areas.  It has two types of stems, both sterile and reproductive.  The reproductive stems appear in spring with brown scale leaves and a long spore cone.  These stems wither away as the sterile stems emerge.  It reproduces via spores that are found on the reproductive stems.   

It has been used as a remedy for a variety of ailments by Native Americans, ancient Roman, and Chinese physicians.  In current times, it is used as an herbal remedy.

Insects, Diseases and Other Plant Problems:  Due to the growth habit of Common Horsetail, sending deep rhizomes into the soil, it can be a difficult plant to eliminate.  The rhizomes can reach 6' in length.  

It is considered a weed in many areas where crops are grown.  It may be necessary to perform a deep plowing annually in an attempt to prevent rhizomes from spreading.

VIDEO Created by NC State Extension's Homegrown series featuring Mark Weathington, Director of JC Raulston Arboretum.

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#fern#stream banks#NC native#deer resistant#disturbed areas#native annual#food source spring#food source herbage#coastal FAC#Piedmont Mountains FAC#mammals#waterfowl#insects#problem for horses#audubon
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#fern#stream banks#NC native#deer resistant#disturbed areas#native annual#food source spring#food source herbage#coastal FAC#Piedmont Mountains FAC#mammals#waterfowl#insects#problem for horses#audubon
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Equisetum
    Species:
    arvense
    Family:
    Equisetaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Temperate Northern Hemisphere
    Wildlife Value:
    Food source for waterfowl and mammals such as grizzly bears.
    Play Value:
    Wildlife Food Source
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Heavy shade, Deer
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Fern
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Occasionally Wet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Description:
    No fruits. This plants reproduces via spores.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Description:
    No flowers.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Fronds
    Hairs Present:
    No
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Riparian
    Landscape Theme:
    Native Garden
    Shade Garden
    Attracts:
    Small Mammals
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Heavy Shade
    Wet Soil
    Problems:
    Problem for Horses
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Thiamine deficiency: weakness, weight loss, staggers, tremors, death
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Thiaminase
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No