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

Equisetum hyemale L.
Tall Scouring-rush (scouring-rush; scouringrush horsetail)
Equisetaceae (Horsetail family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Larry Halverson  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #57378)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Equisetum hyemale
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Equisetum hyemale ssp. affine

Species Information

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Perennial evergreen herbs from a thick, blackish rhizome.
30-120 cm tall, 4-6 mm thick, dark green, their cental cavity more than 2/3 the stem diameter, not branched, the sheaths with 14-50 teeth that fall off leaving only darker traces.
8-15 mm long, the tip tapered to a black-tinged point.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist alluvial forests, riverbanks, roadsides, clearings and forest margins in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; frequent throughout BC; N to AK, YT and NT, E to NF and S to SC, GA, AL, MS, TX, NM, AZ, and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Equisetum hyemale

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) 1 721 2305
Slope Gradient (%) 0 4 80
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 161 360
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(5), BG(27), BWBS(33), CDF(13), CWH(44), ESSF(18), ICH(34), IDF(79), MS(24), PP(33), SBPS(8), SBS(16), SWB(8)

Ecological Indicator Information

A shade-tolerant/intolerant, submontane to montane, circumpolar horsetail (transcontinental in North America). Occurs on fresh to moist, calcium-rich and nitrogen-rich soils (Moder or Mull humus forms) within boreal, temperate, cool semiarid, mesothermal, and tropical climates; its occurrence decreases with increasing elevation. Inhabits exposed mineral soil; scattered in broad-leaved forests on water-receiving (floodplain and stream­edge) sites, frequent in non-forested, early­seral communities. Characteristic of alluvial floodplain forests.

SourceIndicator Plants of Coastal British Columbia (Information applies to coastal locations only)

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