Field or common Horsetail, or Equisetum arvense to give it its Latin name, is an invasive, deep-rooted perennial weed that will spread quickly to form a dense carpet of foliage, crowding out less vigorous plants in beds and borders and is often mistaken for Marestail.
Horsetail is one of the longest surviving plants on our planet.
Common Horsetail plants quickly build into extensive clusters and take over local habitats if left uncontrolled. This particular variety of the species is widespread across Britain, often found on roadsides, in gardens, on paths, brownfield sites and wasteland. There are several other varieties of Horsetail plants, and they tend to be restricted to certain habitats.
Field Horsetail can regularly be found damaging footpaths, driveways and areas of tarmac on recently completed construction schemes, creating a trip hazard and damaging the footpath itself.
Spring growth comes from the rhizomes underground that have lain dormant over the winter. One Horsetail fertile stalk and cone can produce thousands and thousands of spores that are suddenly released into the air and get blown on the wind for miles. Of course, on quiet days they can simply float over onto adjacent land.
Horsetail or Marestail?
Horsetail often gets called Marestail and vice versa but they are two different plants.
They are both weeds, but the Marestail is an aquatic plant. They are both invasive species and have a superficial resemblance with each other. It has similar jointed stems that branch out from the base, but the biggest most common difference is that Horsetail flowers while the Marestail does not.
Horsetail is more likely to turn up in your garden, on isolated waste ground or brownfield sites than Marestail because the latter needs plenty of water to thrive.
Horsetail can be an additional development cost during and post construction when not dealt with at an early stage.
Marestail can cause severe damage to tarmac driveways and footpaths without due care and attention in advance of construction and its seeds are viable. Please do not ignore.