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Barred Horsetail

Equisetum japonica

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Barred Horsetail (Equisetum japonica) at Green Haven Garden Centre

Barred Horsetail foliage

Barred Horsetail foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  4 feet

Spread:  4 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  2

Other Names:  Equisetum japonicum, Scouring Rush


A perfect selection for a wet boggy area of the landscape or at the edge of a pond or stream; masses of towering bamboo-like spikes with black bands creates a bold vertical effect that makes an excellent backdrop for a water feature; very low maintenance

Ornamental Features

Barred Horsetail's attractive spiny leaves remain green in colour with pointy black spines throughout the season. Neither the flowers nor the fruit are ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Barred Horsetail is a dense herbaceous perennial with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its medium texture blends into the garden, but can always be balanced by a couple of finer or coarser plants for an effective composition.

This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and is best cleaned up in early spring before it resumes active growth for the season. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Spreading

Barred Horsetail is ideally suited for growing in a pond, water garden or patio water container, and is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • Border Edging
  • Water Gardens
  • Bog Gardens

Planting & Growing

Barred Horsetail will grow to be about 4 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 4 feet. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years.

This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. As an aquatic plant, it requires a suitable water garden environment and will benefit from special planting and ongoing care practices; consult one of our in-store experts for further details and instructions. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This species is not originally from North America. It can be propagated by division.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Massing  Edging  Bog  Water 
Foliage Color  Plant Form 
Ornamental Features