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Equisetum laevigatum

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About Horsetail (Equisetum laevigatum) Equisetum laevigatum is a species of horsetail known by the common names smooth scouring rush and smooth horsetail. This plant is native to much of North America except for northern Canada and southern Mexico. It is usually found in moist areas in sandy and gravelly substrates. It may be annual or perennial. It grows narrow green stems sometimes reaching heights exceeding 1.5 meters. The leaves at the nodes are small, scale-like brownish sheaths and there are occasionally small, spindly branches. The stems are topped with rounded cone-shaped sporangia.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
3 - 6 ft (0.9 - 1.8 m)


Growth Rate

Flowering Season

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Moist, sandy or gravelly places

Shade, Part Shade

Elevation ?
-293' - 10562'

Annual Precip. ?
2.8" - 76.9"

Summer Precip. ?
0.15" - 2.73"

Coldest Month ?
23.8° F - 58.8° F

Hottest Month ?
45.9° F - 88.2° F

Humidity ?
0.39 vpd - 38.63 vpd

Soil Description
Prefers loamy or clay soils. Grows poorly in sandy soils.


Sunset Zones ?
1*, 2*, 3*, 4*, 5*, 6*, 7*, 8, 9, 14*, 15*, 16*, 17*, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22*, 23*, 24*

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

Water Requirement ?
Moderate - High
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Common uses
Bogs and Ponds, Deer Resistant, Bird Gardens

Nursery Availability
Rarely Available

Other Names
Common Names
Smooth Horsetail, Smooth Scouring Rush

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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