Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!


Plant Database

Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

Enter a Plant Name:
Or you can choose a plant family:
Equisetum sylvaticum (Woodland horsetail)
Smith, R.W.

Equisetum sylvaticum

Equisetum sylvaticum L.

Woodland Horsetail

Equisetaceae (Horsetail Family)

Synonym(s): Equisetum sylvaticum var. multiramosum, Equisetum sylvaticum var. pauciramosum


USDA Native Status: L48 (N), AK (N), CAN (N), GL (N), SPM (N)

Horsetails are high in silicates (sand) so have been used as pot scrubbers and bottle brushes.


From the Image Gallery

2 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Arrangement: Whorled
Fruit Type: Cone
Size Notes: Up to about 28 inches tall.
Leaf: Green

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Not Applicable
Bloom Notes: Not a flowering plant. Reproduces by spores contained within sporangia borne on peltate sporophylls. Sporulates Mar - May.


USA: AK , CT , DE , IA , ID , IL , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MT , NC , ND , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , SD , VA , VT , WA , WI , WV , WY
Canada: AB , BC , MB , NB , NL , NS , NT , ON , PE , QC , SK , YT
Native Habitat: Forest Edge,Prairie/Meadow/Field,Wet Meadow/Prairie/Field,Riparian,Swamp/Marsh

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Equisetum sylvaticum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Equisetum sylvaticum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Equisetum sylvaticum


Record Modified: 2023-03-30
Research By: TWC Staff

Go back