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Equisetum hyemale


Equisetum hyemale

Family Name: Equisetaceae
Synonyms: Equisetum hyemalis (illegitimate)
Common Name: Scouring Rush, Rough Horsetail, Dutch Rush, 木贼


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Ferns & Lycophytes (Non-Seed Vascular Plants) (Horsetail)
Plant Growth Form Aquatic & Hydrophyte
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Maximum Height 1 m to 2 m


Native Distribution Eurasia, North America
Native Habitat Aquatic (Freshwater Pond / Lake / River)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal, Temperate
Local Conservation Status Non-native

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Thin-stemmed herbaceous perennial, rush-like and non-flowering.
Roots Branched, creeping rhizomes.
Foliage Small, grayish leaves (with teeth-like fringes) completely surrounding and clasping the stem at the nodes, forming a sheath-like structure. Thin, black bands occur directly above and below the leaves.
Stems Round, thin stems have a grooved surface.
Reproductive Parts - non-flowering plant The sporangia resembles a pine cone.
Habitat Occurs in the fringes of water bodies.
Taxonomy The synonym for this species is Hippochaete hyemalis.
Cultivation This species is ideal for waterscaping or waterlogged soils. Its unique structural form is suitable for Japanese gardens.
Etymology Genus Equisetum is derived from "equus-seta" which is a name in Pliny for a horsetail. Species hyemale means "pertaining to winter" and refers to the perennial nature of the plant. One of the common names is "Scouring Rush", because the stems are rich in silica and are used to scour dishes. In Mexico, they are grown for the purpose of polishing fine furniture.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Stems
Landscape Uses Pond / Lake / River, Aquarium / Aquascape, Phytoremediation (Ground / Water Contaminant(s))
Thematic Landscaping Zen / Minimalist Garden, Marsh Garden

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun, Semi-Shade
Water Preference Moderate Water, Lots of Water
Plant Growth Rate Fast
Rootzone Tolerance Moist Soils, Waterlogged Soils
Propagation Method Division


Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green


References Yong J, Tan PY, Nor Hafiz Hassan, Tan SN. 2010. A Selection of Plants for Greening of Waterways and Waterbodies in the Tropics. Singapore: Chung Printing . 480 pp.

Image Repository



Master ID 254
Species ID 1550
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 19 August 2021.