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Taxon  Report  
Equisetum arvense  L.
Common horsetail rush,   Common horsetail, field horsetail,   Field horsetail
Equisetum arvense is a fern that is native to California, and also found elsewhere in North America and beyond.
Siskiyou Del Norte Modoc Humboldt Shasta Lassen Trinity Plumas Tehama Butte Mendocino Glenn Sierra Yuba Lake Nevada Colusa Placer Sutter El Dorado Yolo Alpine Napa Sonoma Sacramento Mono Amador Solano Calaveras Tuolumne San Joaquin Marin Contra Costa Alameda Santa Cruz Mariposa Madera San Francisco San Mateo Merced Fresno Stanislaus Santa Clara Inyo San Benito Tulare Kings Monterey San Bernardino San Luis Obispo Kern Santa Barbara Ventura Los Angeles Riverside Orange San Diego Imperial
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Bloom Period
Genus: Equisetum
Family: Equisetaceae  
Category: fern  
PLANTS group:Horsetail
Jepson eFlora section: fern

Toxicity: Do not eat any part of this plant.

Wetlands: Equally likely to occur in wetlands and non wetlands

Habitat: streambanks

Communities: Yellow Pine Forest, Red Fir Forest, Lodgepole Forest, Subalpine Forest, Foothill Woodland, Chaparral, Valley Grassland, wetland-riparian, many plant communities

Name Status:
Accepted by JEF + PLANTS

Alternate Names:
PLANTSEquisetum arvense var. alpestre
PLANTSEquisetum arvense var. boreale
PLANTSEquisetum arvense var. campestre
PLANTSEquisetum arvense var. riparium
PLANTSEquisetum calderi
Information about  Equisetum arvense from other sources
Nursery availability from CNPLX
This plant is available commercially.
Jepson eFlora

USDA PLANTS Profile (EQAR)

Photos on Calflora

Photos on CalPhotos

Google Images

Photos on iNaturalist

ID Tips on PlantID.net

[Wikipedia] Uses - Medicinal, Crafts, Harmful Effects: Uses Drawing of a fertile stem of E. arvense, 10 cm as drawn. At the top is the strobilus, which consists of the axis (inside) and 15?20 horizontal circles of about 20 sporangiophores. Lower on the stem are two sheaths of merged microphylls. The stem has many strong lengthwise ridges. Medicine The plant contains several substances that can be used medicinally. It is rich in silicon (10%), potassium, calcium, manganese, magnesium and phosphorus, phytosterols, dietary fiber, vitamins A, E and C, tannins, alkaloids, saponins, flavonoids, glycosides and caffeic acid phenolic ester. The buds are eaten as a vegetable in Japan and Korea in spring. Recent research has shown limited evidence of anti-inflammatory, diuretic, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties. [15] Craft production It was also once used to polish pewter and wood (gaining the name pewterwort) and to strengthen fingernails. It is also an abrasive. It was used by hurdy-gurdy players to dress the wheels of their instruments by removing resin build up.[16] Harmful effects Equisetum arvense is toxic to stock, particularly horses (contributed by Mary Ann Machi)


Suggested Citation
Calflora: Information on California plants for education, research and conservation, with data contributed by public and private institutions and individuals. [web application]. 2024. Berkeley, California: The Calflora Database [a non-profit organization]. Available: https://www.calflora.org/   (Accessed: 05/17/2024).