Mare's tail Identification

Infestation of mare's tail, also known as horsetail

Growing cycle

In summer, the waxy green shoots of Mare's tail develop into fir tree like plants that can grow up to 60 cm high.

In spring, Mare's tail (also known as horsetail) will have light brown stems that look similar to asparagus, and can grow to approximately 20-50 cm high. They have small cones atop which produce spores.

Spores & rhizomes 

Mare's tail is a perennial that will return every year if not controlled appropriately.  It has deep roots and is very invasive. Infestation may appear as a result of distribution of spores by the wind, or from the large rhizomes the plant has that spread to neighbouring land.  

Though it prefers damper conditions, Mare's tail can be found in wasteland, gardens, paths, walls and patios. 

Mare's tail identification, plant growing on wasteland in the UK

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Howard Downer


Howard Downer, AKA Dr. Knotweed, has over 20 years of experience as an Environmental Consultant and is regarded by his peers as one of the most knowledgeable people in the Japanese knotweed industry.

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