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Equisetum scirpoides - Michx.

Common Name Dwarf scouring rush
Family Equisetaceae
USDA hardiness 1-9
Known Hazards None Known
Habitats Tundra, mossy places, and woods. Stems often partly buried in humus. Part shade, shade; moist woods, peat bogs, shady, mossy wetlands.
Range Native to northern Eurasia and America.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Wet Soil Full shade Semi-shade Full sun
Equisetum scirpoides Dwarf scouring rush

Equisetum scirpoides Dwarf scouring rush
Meneerke bloem wikimedia.org


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Equisetum scirpoides is an evergreen Perennial growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in) by 0.2 m (0ft 8in) at a slow rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 2.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist or wet soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Hippochaete scirpoides Farw.

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Root  Stem
Edible Uses:

The root tubercles can be eaten raw. Sterile stems are dried, ground to a powder and used for thickening or to make a mush. This powder has also been used to make a tea, and is sold in some grocery stores. Underground stems and roots are eaten raw, with or without lard, and are sometimes put in Indian ice-cream. Underground stems and roots are food to some native American groups. They are collected in the spring by water, and are sweet and juicy then, much relished as the first fruit of the season (flora.dempstercountry.org).

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

We found no specific reference to this species but in general horsetails have an unusual chemistry compared to most other plants; they are rich in silica, more than 35%, contain several alkaloids (including nicotine) and various minerals. Horsetail is very astringent and makes an excellent clotting agent, staunching wounds, stopping nosebleeds and reducing the coughing up of blood. It helps speed the repair of damaged connective tissue, improving its strength and elasticity. Horsetail provides a naaturally occurring source of organic silica. It is therefore a remedy for conditions where there is an inability to absorb and retain silica. When this occurs there are weaknesses in the hard structures of the body. The hair becomes thin, fails to thrive, and fizzles away into split ends. The nails are often weak, breaking easily, with hangnails and lingering infections about the nail. In homeopathy, silica is known as the "homeopathic scalpel," because of its ability to act like a blade, like flint, to cut, to bring matters to the surface and to heal charitably. It cuts in, opens tissues, and releases pus and corrupted material, while cleansing and reincarnating flesh. It has a centripetal effect, removing heavy, unneeded materials to the surface and out.

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Groundcover: A medium density moderately good groundcover. The coarse green stems are used to scrub pots and clean dishes. Larger horsetails have the ability to absorb heavy metals from soil and are often used in remediation projects involving heavy metal contaminants. Wildlife Benefits: Amphibians, Cover, Fish, Food, Nesting, Waterfowl. Containers. Dynamic Accumulator.

Special Uses

Dynamic accumulator  Food Forest  Ground Cover

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

A Long-lived perennial evergreen with fibrous roots and the smallest living horsetail. Can be used as an aquatic fern. Light requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade. Soil moisture: moist or wet (recommended water depth over crown of plant: 0 - 3cm (0 - 1 inch)). Water quality: pH 5.6-6.5. Useful for winter interest in a small pond, barrel, or tub garden, especially in shady areas. Pond Zone: flood plain - Upland. High marsh - saturated. soil spores shed from July through August, or persisting unopened until the following summer. For polyculture design as well as the above-ground architecture (form - tree, shrub etc. and size shown above) information on the habit and root pattern is also useful and given here if available. The plant growth habit is a runner spreading indefinitely by rhizomes or stolons [1-2]. Evergreen. The root pattern is rhizomatous with underground stems sending roots and shoots along their length [1-2]. Not a flowering plant. Reproduces by spores contained within sporangia borne on peltate sporophylls.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

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Plant Propagation

Rhizome sections. Horsetail plants produce the best rhizomes for propagation in the spring. Lengths of these underground stems, typically about 6 inches, with healthy shoots emerging from their joints produce the healthiest new plants.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Dwarf scouring rush, Dwarf horsetail

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Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

None Known. Dwarf scouring rush does not appear to be invasive, although there is limited data on this plant. Twelve of the 30 horsetail species are considered weeds. Common horsetail, Equisetum arvense, and scouring rush horsetail, E. hyemale, are of most concern.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Equisetum arvenseField HorsetailPerennial0.6 3-11  LMHSNDM234
Equisetum fluviatileSwamp Horsetail, Water horsetailPerennial1.2 0-0  LMHSNMWeWa222
Equisetum hyemaleDutch Rush, Scouringrush horsetail, Horsetail, Scouring Rush, Rough HorsetailPerennial1.0 3-11  LMHSNM223
Equisetum palustreMarsh HorsetailPerennial0.6 0-0  LMHSNMWe023
Equisetum pratenseMeadow HorsetailPerennial0.6 4-8  LMHSNM222
Equisetum sylvaticumWood Horsetail, Woodland horsetailPerennial0.6 0-0  LMHSM123
Equisetum telmateiaGiant HorsetailPerennial2.0 5-9  LMHSNM113
Equisetum variegatumVariegated Horsetail, Variegated scouringrush, Alaskan scouringrushPerennial0.6 0-0  LMHSNDM023

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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