Story: Ferns and lycophytes

Common horsetail

Common horsetail

Common or field horsetail (Equisetum arvense) is a pest weed. It has a localised distribution in New Zealand, usually found on damp ground such as river banks and drain courses. The plant is easily recognised by its jointed, hollow stems, from which grow whorls of branches. In spring, horsetail produces brown stems topped with a cone of spores. Field horsetail is listed on the National Pest Plant Accord and cannot be sold, propagated or distributed in New Zealand.

Using this item

Private collection
Photograph by E. D. Hatch

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Patrick Brownsey, 'Ferns and lycophytes - Distribution', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 4 June 2023)

Story by Patrick Brownsey, published 24 Sep 2007