Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

This perennial plant is 2-5' tall, producing both fertile and infertile shoots. Each shoot has a single central stem that is jointed, unbranched, more or less erect, and ¼–¾" (6-18 mm.) across. The central stem is medium green, olive-green, or dark green, rough in texture, and evergreen. The individual joints that make up the central stem are up to several inches long; the upper joints are usually shorter than the lower joints. The stem joints have about 15-40 fine longitudinal ridges. At the conjunctions of adjacent joints, there are appressed ring-like sheaths up to ¾" long. Except along their upper and lower rims, the sheaths are whitish grey, brown, or black. The lower rims of these sheaths are usually black, while their upper rims have 15-40 tiny black teeth (scale-like leaves). These teeth are semi-deciduous and they often break off the sheaths with age. The interior cavity of the central stem is quite large, spanning at least two-thirds of its diameter. The central stem of each fertile shoot terminates in a spore-bearing cone up to 2" long on a short stalk. This cone is ovoid to broadly ellipsoid in shape, and it has a short narrow point at its apex. The cone is densely covered with rows of spore-bearing tubercles; it is usually pale yellow or pale reddish yellow. Instead of a single terminal cone, sometimes an older shoot will produce 1-4 spore-bearing cones on short lateral stalks just below its terminal joint. Infertile shoots are very similar to fertile shoots, except they lack spore-bearing cones. The cones release their spores from late spring to mid-summer; they wither away later in the year. The root system consists of extensive rhizomes with fibrous secondary roots. This plant often forms dense colonies; sometimes these colonies can be quite large in size. Cultivation
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Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Distribution

Range and Habitat in Illinois

Scouring Rush is a common plant that occurs in every county of Illinois (see Distribution Map), where it is native. This plant is widely distributed in both North America and Eurasia; the typical variety or subspecies occurs in Eurasia. Habitats include sand dunes, swales in black soil prairies and sand prairies, degraded railroad prairies, low-lying areas along rivers and ponds, marshes, seeps in open wooded areas, roadside ditches, pastures, and gravelly railroad embankments (including the gravel ballast). This plant is usually found in degraded habitats and less often in higher quality natural areas. Faunal Associations
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Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Physical Description

Type Information

Isosyntype for Equisetum robustum var. affine Engelm.
Catalog Number: US 1918014
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): G. Engelmann
Year Collected: 1843
Locality: Jefferson Barracks., Missouri, United States, North America
  • Isosyntype: Engelmann, G. 1844. Amer. J. Sci. Arts. 46: 88.
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Isosyntype for Equisetum robustum var. affine Engelm.
Catalog Number: US 2078410
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): G. Engelmann
Year Collected: 1843
Locality: Jefferson Barracks., Missouri, United States, North America
  • Isosyntype: Engelmann, G. 1844. Amer. J. Sci. Arts. 46: 88.
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© Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany

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Ecology

Habitat

Range and Habitat in Illinois

Scouring Rush is a common plant that occurs in every county of Illinois (see Distribution Map), where it is native. This plant is widely distributed in both North America and Eurasia; the typical variety or subspecies occurs in Eurasia. Habitats include sand dunes, swales in black soil prairies and sand prairies, degraded railroad prairies, low-lying areas along rivers and ponds, marshes, seeps in open wooded areas, roadside ditches, pastures, and gravelly railroad embankments (including the gravel ballast). This plant is usually found in degraded habitats and less often in higher quality natural areas. Faunal Associations
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Comments: Terrestrial in woods, fields, swamps, roadsides, riverbanks, and railroad embankments, in moist circumneutral, often distrubed soil (Lellinger, 1985).

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Equisetum hyemale subsp. affine

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Equisetum hyemale subsp. affine

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: T5 - Secure

Reasons: Abundant throughout much of North America.

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