Interesting Facts about Horsetails

  • Horsetails are native to every continent except Antartica and Australasia.
  • Horsetails date back to the Palaeozoic era which lasted from 541 to 252 million years ago. That means they were around before the dinosaurs!
  • Horsetails are related to ferns.
  • Equisetum is the only remaining species of horesetail.
  • Equisetum is sometimes called a living fossil.
  • Equisetum is also called horsetail, snake grass, scouring rush and puzzlegrass.
  • Eating too many horsetails can kill horses.
  • Horsetails evolved from plants that were 98 feet tall. Today’s horsetails are usually 1-2 feet although there is one in South America that grows to 32 feet..
  • In many places, horsetails are considered invasive plants.
  • Horsetails can be used to scrub metal.
  • Horsetails were used to treat a variety of ailments during the Greek and Roman days.
  • Some people use it to stop bleeding, as a diuretic or an astringent.
  • Horsetails reproduce via spores rather than seeds.

For more information read:

Horsetail Benefits
Horsetail Facts
Horsetail Plant Genus
Horsetails- a Modern Herbal

I originally wrote this post for the Pacific Northwest GreenFriends Newsletter, August 2017, page 25.

6 thoughts on “Interesting Facts about Horsetails

  1. Thanks for info on Horsetails How did you know they aren’t challenge theses days. I got a good layer of compost cover last spring and I do believe that’s how they were introduced to my yard!!😁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You meant to ask how I knew they were a challenge didn’t you. I suspect it should be are rather than aren’t. If so I can change it.

      We spent the first many years we lived here working to control them by pulling them out. Over time it worked. So it was a surprise to learn in the Greenbelt they should stay!


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