Equisetum scirpoides Michx.

dwarf scouring-rush

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Dwarf scouring rush is New England's smallest scouring-rush (Equisetum) species. Its curling, wiry stems form evergreen mats, and its black, pointy cone is distinctive.

Habitat

Forests, shores of rivers or lakes, swamps, wetland margins (edges of wetlands)

Characteristics

Habitat
  • terrestrial
  • wetlands
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Vermont
Stem form
the stem curves or zig-zags back and forth
Branches
there are no branches off the main stem
Cone tip shape
the tip of the spore cone has a small, sharp point
Sheathes on older stems
the leaf sheathes persist in older stems
Sheath color
the leaf sheath is mainly black
Stem cross-section
NA
Number of stem ridges
6
Stem color
the aerial stem color is green
Sheath border color
the border of the leaf sheath has a wide white edge
Length of branch section
NA
Show All Characteristics
  • Leaves
    Leaf length
    0.75–1.5 mm
    Leaves per node
    3
    Sheath border color
    the border of the leaf sheath has a wide white edge
    Sheath color
    the leaf sheath is mainly black
    Sheathes on older stems
    the leaf sheathes persist in older stems
  • Place
    Habitat
    • terrestrial
    • wetlands
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Maine
    • Massachusetts
    • New Hampshire
    • Vermont
    Specific habitat
    • edges of wetlands
    • forests
    • shores of rivers or lakes
    • swamps
  • Spores or spore cones
    Cone length
    2–5 mm
    Cone tip shape
    the tip of the spore cone has a small, sharp point
    Spore form
    the spores are green and spherical
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Branch grooves
    NA
    Branches
    there are no branches off the main stem
    How hollow is stem
    0
    Length of branch section
    NA
    Number of stem ridges
    6
    Plant height
    25–280 mm
    Stem cavities
    3
    Stem color
    the aerial stem color is green
    Stem cross-section
    NA
    Stem differences
    the vegetative and reproductive stems are similar in appearance
    Stem form
    the stem curves or zig-zags back and forth
    Stem texture
    the stem feels smooth or slightly rough
    Stem thickness
    0.5–1 mm

Wetland Status

Occurs in wetlands or non-wetlands. (Wetland indicator code: FAC)

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
present
Maine
present
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
present
Rhode Island
absent
Vermont
present

Conservation Status

Exact status definitions can vary from state to state. For details, please check with your state.

Connecticut
extremely rare (S-rank: S1), endangered (code: E)
Massachusetts
uncommon (S-rank: S3), special concern (code: SC)

Native to North America?

Yes

Synonyms

  • Hippochaete scirpoides (Michx.) Farw.

Family

Equisetaceae

Genus

Equisetum

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

6.  Equisetum scirpoides Michx. N

dwarf scouring-rush. Hippochaete scirpoides (Michx.) Farw. • CT, MA, ME, NH, VT; lacking in southeastern New England and extreme southern New England. Forests and swamps, often growing in cool microclimates and/or among bryophytes.