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Montana Field Guides

Field Horsetail - Equisetum arvense

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S5

Agency Status
USFWS:
USFS:
BLM:
MNPS Threat Rank:
C-value: 3

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General Description
Sterile stems annual, dimorphic, 5–70 cm × 1–5 mm with 10 to 12 ridges, hollow, green. Sheaths green with dark teeth. Branches usually ascending; first internode longer than subtending stem sheath. Fertile stems tan, unbranched, shorter than sterile stems, usually apparent only in spring. Strobili 5–40 mm long, blunt (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Diagnostic Characteristics
Equisetum arvense and E. pratense have sterile stems that are similar in appearance. The siliceous tubercles of E. arvense are low and inconspicuous to papillate or smooth, whereas in E. pratense, they are high and conspicuous. The stems of E. arvense are generally thicker as well (Hitchcock et al. 1994).

Species Range
Montana Range

Year-round
 


Range Comments
Widespread across the western two-thirds of MT with collections as far east as Phillips and McCone counties; cosmopolitan and throughout most of temperate North America (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 1619

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density

Recency

 

(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)



Habitat
Moist to wet soil of meadows, forests, stream banks, lake shores at all elevations (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

References
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
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    • Ament, R.J. 1995. Pioneer Plant Communities Five Years After the 1988 Yellowstone Fires. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 216 p.
    • Dale, D. 1973. Effects of trail use under forests in the Madison Range, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 96 pp.
    • Eversman, S.T. 1968. A comparison of plant communities and substrates of avalanche and non-avalanche areas in south central Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 39 pp.
    • Harting, A.L. 1985. Relationships between activity patterns and foraging strategies of Yellowstone Grizzly Bears. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 103 p.
    • Hollenbeck, R.R. 1974. Growth rates and movements within a population of Rana pretiosa pretiosa Baird and Girard in south central Montana. Ph.D. Dissertation. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 66 p.
    • Joslin, G.J. 1975. Behavior and environmental selection by Elk (Cervus canadensis nelsoni) during surrmer and fall in the First and Second Yellow Mule drainages, Madison County, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University, Bozeman. 65 p.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
    • Martinka, R.R. 1970. Structural characteristics and ecological relationships of male blue grouse (Dendragapus obscurus (Say)) territories in southwestern Montana. Ph.D Dissertation. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 73 p.
    • Mealey, S.P. 1975. The natural food habits of free ranging grizzly bears in Yellowstone National Park, 1973-1974. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 158 p.
    • Reinhart, D.P. 1990. Grizzly bear habitat use on cutthroat trout spawning streams in tributaries of Yellowstone Lake. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 128 p.
    • Stewart, S.T. 1975. Ecology of the West Rosebud and Stillwater bighorn sheep herds, Beartooth Mountains, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 130 p.
    • Stoecker, R.E. 1967. A population study of five species of small rodents in the Bridger Mountains of Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 32 p.
    • Wood, M.A. 1981. Small mammal communities after two recent fires in Yellowstone National Park. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 58 p.
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Citation for data on this website:
Field Horsetail — Equisetum arvense.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from