GROWTH HABIT: A tenacious perennial plant with deep, spreading rootstocks.
LEAVES: Leaves are scale-like appendages located at stem nodes.
STEMS: Stems are rough, (high silica content), jointed and hollow. Fertile stems have a terminal spore-producing cone. Several species of Equisetum are found in the West, including field horsetail (E. Arvense L.), and scouringrush (E. Hymale L.) Field horsetail produced whorls of branches at each stem node while scouringrush produces only simple stems.
OTHER: Field horsetail is adapted to wet areas, while scouringrush can be found either along streambanks and or in relatively dry soils. Equisetum can create serious maintenance problems along highway rights-of-way and irrigation waterways; and is difficult to controlling cropland. At lease some species within this genus are poisonous to livestock, affecting primarily horses and cattle.