Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Equisetum palustre

Higher Taxonomy
Family: EquisetaceaeView Description 
Habit: Perennial herb from rhizome. Stem: annual to perennial herb, generally erect, of 2 kinds (sterile, fertile) or not; internodes with lengthwise alternating ridges and grooves, hollow except at nodes, branches 0 or whorled, alternate leaves. Leaf: scale-like, whorled, fused into nodal sheath with as many teeth as leaves, generally not green. Sporangia: several on inner surface of peltate scales that are clustered into a terminal cone; spores of 1 kind, spheric, green, unmarked, with 4 strap-like appendages.
Genera In Family: 1 genus, 15 species: worldwide except Australia, New Zealand.
eFlora Treatment Author: Robert E. Preston & Richard L. Hauke
Scientific Editor: Alan R. Smith, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: EquisetumView DescriptionDichotomous Key


Etymology: (Latin: horse, bristle, from roots of Equisetum fluviatile L.)
Equisetum palustre L.
Stem: annual, of 1 kind, 20--80 cm, green; basal internode of branch < subtending sheath; sheath 4--9 mm, longer than wide, teeth 5--10, 2--5 mm, free; branches with 4--6 rounded ridges, hollow.
Ecology: Marshes; Elevation: < 300 m. Bioregional Distribution: NCoRI, CCo (San Francisco); Distribution Outside California: Oregon to Alaska, eastern North America. Note: Presence in California questionable; hybrids with Equisetum telmateia subsp. braunii reported questionably for California, from San Mateo, Marin cos.
Jepson eFlora Author: Robert E. Preston & Richard L. Hauke
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)
Listed on CNPS Rare Plant Inventory

Previous taxon: Equisetum laevigatum
Next taxon: Equisetum telmateia subsp. braunii

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Botanical illustration including Equisetum palustre

botanical illustration including Equisetum palustre

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Citation for this treatment: Robert E. Preston & Richard L. Hauke 2012, Equisetum palustre, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on November 29, 2023.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2023, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on November 29, 2023.

No expert verified images found for Equisetum palustre.

Geographic subdivisions for Equisetum palustre:
NCoRI, CCo (San Francisco)
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).