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Equisetum Hyemale (Japonicum Form) (Equisetum)

A fast growing member of the horsetail family, that thrives in boggy conditions. Reed-like, cylindrical, hollow stems with rough black ribs can grow up to 1m in height and provide year round interest.


History

Equisetum is from the latin 'equus' for horse and 'saeta' which means bristle or hair. Hyemale means 'of winter' referring to the perennial nature of the plant. It is native to large parts of Eurasia, Canada and the USA. Its natural habitat is in wet woods, moist hillsides and peripheries of lakes, rivers & ponds. In the 18th & 19th centuries, these plants were used for polishing and sanding as their cells  contain a large amount of silica which is ideal for this purpose.  This is why it has got the common name of 'Scouring Rush'.


Planting

Can be planted at any time of year.  If using a container plant in a loamless compost which should be kept moist at all times.  If planting at the edge of water or in a bog, plant in an aquatic basket lined with hessian to restrict its growth and place in the water up to the neck of the plant.


Propagation

Division


Cultivation

Will tolerate an extremely wide range of soils but is best grown in a reasonably fertile, moist to wet soil in full sun to part shade. It will be quite happy in standing water. In the wild it spreads rapidly to form large colonies, the roots travel wide and deep and it is difficult to remove once established. So to keep it in check it is better to plant it in an aquatic basket lined with hessian.


Aftercare

A hardy plant that needs little care.  If it is being grown in a container it will benefit from a low strength general fertiliser on a fairly regular basis. Cut out any broken, damaged or dead stems at any time of year.


Pests

Trouble free.


Diseases

Trouble free.


Height/Spread

This is a non-flowering, evergreen perennial which resembles rushes and grows from a rhizome, often reaching up to 1.2m in height. It produces unbranched stems, 4-9mm in diameter, that have rough black ribs at intervals which slightly constrict the stem.




Annual care

Plant name
Equisetum
Latin name
Equisetum Hyemale (Japonicum Form)
Common name
Horsetail, Scouring Rush, Dutch rush
Genus
Equisetum
Foliage colour
Green
Plant type
Grass
Soil type
any
Soil PH
any
Moisture
Moisture Retentive
Aspect
Sun-Partial Shade
Hardiness
H (Fully Hardy) to -15°C
Leaf type
Evergreen
Life cycle
Perennial
Aspect
Vigorous
Min height
90 cm
Max height
1.2 m
Min spread
20 cm
Max spread
30 cm