Field horsetail – Equisetum arvense

Field horsetail patch in field

Field horsetail patch in field

Field horsetail vegetative stem

Field horsetail vegetative stem

Close-up of field horsetail stem

Close-up of field horsetail stem

Field horsetail fruiting stalk

Field horsetail fruiting stalk

Field horsetail

Equisetum arvense L.
Equisetaceae (Horsetail family)

Life cycle
Perennial, spore-producing plant.

Leaves
Not present.

Stems
Vegetative stems are green and branch in whorls. Stems may have a bottle-brush appearance and should not exceed 2 feet in height. Stems die back to the ground in winter.

Flowers and fruit
Erect, unbranched, white to brown fruiting stalks (stems) bear terminal spore-releasing cones. Flowers are not produced.

Reproduction
Spores and prolific rhizomes.

Similar weeds
Scouringrush (E. hyemale L.)
Differs by having larger evergreen stems with little or no branching. Grows only in wet areas.