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Equisetum praealtum

Previously known as:

  • Equisetum hyemale var. affine
Phonetic Spelling
ek-wis-SEE-tum pray-AL-tum
Description

Tall Scouring Rush is an herbaceous, non-flowering, evergreen perennial in the Equisetaceae (horsetail) family.  It is native to North America, Greenland, Northeast China, Russian Far East, Japan, and Central America.  It is distributed in all continental U.S. states and has been introduced to Belgium and Taiwan.  Stems have rough silica-containing ridges, making it unappealing to deer and other herbivores.  Although this plant is very similar to E. hyemale, it is sometime classified as a separate species due to morphological differences in height, color, stem diameter and number of ridges. It forms large, dense colonies of upright, reed-like, unbranched stalks up to 11 feet tall. Stems are conspicuously jointed, where small, dark, triangular scale-like leaves are arranged in a ring around each joint. It forms both fertile and infertile shoots. This plant reproduces by means of a spore-bearing cone that forms at the tip of fertile stems. Spores are released in early to mid-summer. Plants also spread by means of a deep network of rhizomes and fibrous secondary roots.  It prefers full to partial sun and is found in moist or wet habitats with sandy or gravely soil such as wetlands, ditches, riparian areas, alluvial flats, swamps, ponds and other areas with standing water.  It is often found in areas containing limestone.  This plant is sometimes available from nurseries and is best suited as a potted specimen to prevent aggressive, invasive spread if planted in-ground.

Insects, Diseases and Other Plant Problems:   No serious problems. It is an aggressive spreader by rhizomes.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#native perennials#stream banks#aggressive#NC native#deer resistant#floodplain#food source summer#food source herbage#Coastal FACW#Piedmont Mountains FACW#wet soils tolerant#mammals#waterfowl#rushes#Audubon
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#native perennials#stream banks#aggressive#NC native#deer resistant#floodplain#food source summer#food source herbage#Coastal FACW#Piedmont Mountains FACW#wet soils tolerant#mammals#waterfowl#rushes#Audubon
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Equisetum
    Species:
    praealtum
    Family:
    Equisetaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Previously used to polish pot and pan due to the high silicone content
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    North & Central America, China, Greenland, Russia, Japan
    Distribution:
    Continental U.S., North Americal, Central America, China, Greenland, Russia, Japan, Belgium, Taiwan
    Wildlife Value:
    Provides habitat for wildlife
    Play Value:
    Buffer
    Defines Paths
    Easy to Grow
    Textural
    Wildlife Cover/Habitat
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 11 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herb
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Water Plant
    Weed
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
    Occasional Flooding
    Occasionally Wet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Description:
    No fruits. This plant reproduces by spores that are available from May to September. Spores are on the strobilus (cones) on top of fertile stems.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Description:
    No flowers
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Black
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Whorled
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    The leaves are reduced to small black triangular structures at the joints with a ring of teeth that fall off as the season progresses.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Green jointed hollow stems with rough ridges
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Container
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Patio
    Pond
    Pool/Hardscape
    Riparian
    Slope/Bank
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Asian Garden
    Native Garden
    Rain Garden
    Water Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Barrier
    Border
    Small groups
    Attracts:
    Small Mammals
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Wet Soil
    Problems:
    Weedy