E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Equisetum pratense Ehrh.
meadow horsetail
Equisetaceae (Horsetail family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #6939)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Equisetum pratense
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Species Information

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Perennial from a smooth, blackish rhizome.
10-60 cm tall, 1-2 mm thick, their central cavity 1/2 the stem diameter, regularly and abundantly branched, the sheaths with 10-20 narrow teeth, the teeth dark with white margins; branches in regular whorls, triangular in cross-section, the 1st internodes of each branch shorter than the corresponding sheaths.
1-4 cm long, rounded at the tip.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic to wet forests, riverbanks, meadows, bog margins, from the montane to subalpine zones; frequent in BC east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains, infrequent in SC BC; N to AK, YT and NT, E to MI and S to NJ, MI, IA, SD, MT and WA; Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Equisetum pratense

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 0 907 2300
Slope Gradient (%) 0 7 205
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 32 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 5 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BAFA(3), BWBS(263), CWH(40), ESSF(112), ICH(202), IDF(31), MH(1), MS(85), PP(5), SBPS(14), SBS(271), SWB(20)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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General References