Flora of Northern Ireland
Equisetum hyemale
(Map updated: March 2008)

The common name 'Dutch Rush' refers to the former importation of these plants from the Low Countries for use as pot-scourers. The surface of the plant, like that of all horsetails, has silica crystals embedded in it, which gives it a coarse, rough texture, making it very useful as a scourer of pots and pans.

The plant is not by any means confined to The Netherlands, but is native to all parts of the British Isles, including Northern Ireland, where it is rather rare. It grows on river banks, often in deep shade, in damp situations where there is some movement of ground water. The dark-green stems are normally unbranched with a terminal black cone.

It forms a slender hybrid with Equisetum variegatum, called E. x trachyodon, which is similar in appearance and habitat preferences though is rarer.

All names: Equisetum hyemale L.