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Marsh Horsetail

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A familiar horsetail plant found on damp, marshy meadows.



Marsh Horsetail: cud do better!

Post date: Friday, 25 July, 2014 - 00:00

Horsetail's are pretty unmistakeable but deciding which specific species  can be a bit tricky. Fortunately, the various species tend to have their own habitat preference and if you find a horsetail in damp meadows then it will almost certainly be marsh horsetail (Equisetum palustre). There are other differences between this and its cousins but you need a good field guide to help you with that although, in general, you will also find the 'fronds' are shorter and pointing upward in this species!

Where it grows it will usually be quite common, even abundant, but as many meadows have been drained for 'agricultural improvement' it is considered a declining species. It can be found in some profusion on Wareham Common in summer. It is poisonous to both horses and cattle and yet cattle frequently graze on the common and presumably do not touch this stuff! Cows do seem to know what is good for them and what is not.

Sadly, horsetails seem to be rather boring plants and no one ever takes any notice of them.




The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail:

Sites List Distribution Map Some Charts Some Photographs Original Tweets Relatives Guidance Notes
Common Name Marsh Horsetail
Scientific Name Equisetum palustre
Interest Level
Species Family Horsetails
Preferred Environment
Look for
Additional Identification Notes
Similar Species

This species is often found in these habitats:

Habitat(s) Relationship
GW: Coastal Flood Grazing Associated