Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Equisetum hyemale

Scouring-rush horsetail, Horsetail, Scouring rush, Canuela

Equisetaceae (Horsetail Family)

Equisetum hyemale (Scouring-rush horsetail)
Page, Lee
Common scouring rush is a spreading, reed-like perennial to 3 ft (0.9 m) tall. The evergreen stems are cylindrical, about 1/3 in (0.8 cm) in diameter, jointed, hollow, usually unbranched, and have rough longitudinal ridges. The tiny leaves are joined together around the stem, forming a narrow black-green band or sheath at each joint. Like other Pteridophytes (ferns and their relatives), scouring rush does not produce flowers or seeds.

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9 photo(s) available

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Leaf Arrangement: Whorled
Size Notes: 2-3
Size Class: 1-3 ft. , 3-6 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Not Applicable
Bloom Time: Jan , Feb , Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov , Dec
Bloom Notes: Not a flowering plant. Reproduces by spores contained within sporangia borne on peltate sporophylls.


USA: AL , AK , AZ , AR , CA , CO , CT , DE , FL , GA , ID , IL , IN , IA , KS , KY , LA , ME , MD , MA , MI , MN , MS , MO , MT , NE , NV , NH , NJ , NM , NY , NC , ND , OH , OK , OR , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , UT , VT , VA , WA , WV , WI , WY , DC
Canada: AB , BC , MB , NB , NL , NS , ON , PE , QC , SK
Native Habitat: In open or wooded areas along streams, on alluvial flats, and on wet ledges; throughout Texas, most common in Blackland Prairies and on the Edwards Plateau. Sand, loam, clay, or limestone; poor drainage okay or in shallow water.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Wet , Moist
Soil Description: Occurs in wet places, including pond margins, swamps, floodplains and ditches.
Conditions Comments: Horsetails smooth, segmented, upright foliage appears striking in a container, pond or landscape setting. It is one of the best dragonfly perches. The plant does not have true fruit, it has interesting cones instead. It is best to contain it in a pot with no holes and be watchful that it doesnt creep over the edge. It is very aggressive.


Use Ornamental: Bog or pond area, Water garden, Erosion control. Often grown in Japanese-style gardens, at the edge of ponds and in the margins of ornamental water gardens.
Use Medicinal: Used as a homeopathic remedy
Use Other: A dense stand of scouring rush along the margin of an ornamental pool can be very attractive and will exclude weeds.
Interesting Foliage: yes
Deer Resistant: High

Last Update: 2016-09-27