Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Equisetum sylvaticum
wood horsetail, woodland horsetail

Distribution: Occurring east of the Cascades crest in the northeastern counties in Washington; Alaska to Washington, east across southern Canada and the northern United States to the Atlantic Coast; circumboreal.

Habitat: Shady coniferous forests, bog edges, and swamps

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Rhizomatous annual, the stems dimorphic, the sterile ones 3-7 dm. tall, 10- to 18-ridged, the central cavity more than 1/2 the diameter of the stem; stomates in 2 bands in the furrows; sheaths of the sterile stems 4-12 mm. long, green, the teeth 2-7 mm. long, cohering in several broad, brown, papery lobes. Fertile stems appearing earlier than the sterile, usually with longer teeth and sheaths, at first simple and pale, becoming branched and green.


Branches whorled, solid, 4- to 5-angled, usually again branched, spreading to recurved, very slender, about 0.5 mm. thick.


Cone deciduous, long-peduncled, blunt.

Accepted Name:
Equisetum sylvaticum L.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 2: 1061. 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Equisetum sylvaticum in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database

WA Flora Checklist: Equisetum sylvaticum checklist entry

OregonFlora: Equisetum sylvaticum information

E-Flora BC: Equisetum sylvaticum atlas page

CalPhotos: Equisetum sylvaticum photos

22 photographs:
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