Rough horsetailRough horsetail

Common name: Rough horsetail
Botanical name: Equisetum hyemale
Management category: Advisory

Native to North America, Europe and northern Asia it is actually part of a “living fossil” species which has grown for over 100 million years. Introduced to New Zealand as an ornamental plant, especially for aquatic habitats.

Why is it a pest?

  • Toxic to stock.
  • Difficult to control as herbicide has difficulty penetrating into the extensive rhizome system.
  • Hard to dig out as all rhizome fragments need to be removed to prevent regrowth.
  • Forms dense stands through rhizomes spreading underground and sprouting new plants.
  • Encourages sedimentation as the plant forms dense stands and can alter water courses.

Where is it found?

  • Primarily found in wetlands, lakes, ponds, springs and water courses.
  • Three sites are being managed in Tauranga. Not known to be elsewhere in Bay of Plenty.

What does it look like?

  • Can grow up to 1.2m high.
  • Stems are hollow.
  • It does not produce flowers, instead, spores are concentrated at the tip of the stem in an asparagus like head.
  • Rhizomes can grow to 1m deep in the soil, making digging the plant out very tricky.

What are the rules?


The Bay of Plenty Regional Council does not enforce the control of advisory species. It is landowner/occupier responsibility to manage these pests. Council may provide advice on how to manage or control these species if required.

How do you get rid of it?

As this plant mainly grows around water, care is required if you are using chemical control methods. If manually removing the plant, be aware that the rhizomes can grow to 1m deep. All plant material needs to be disposed of in general waste. Always follow up with control as soon as you see new growth appearing. The sooner you treat a plant, the easier it will be to manage and eventually eradicate it.


CAUTION: When using any herbicide or pesticide, PLEASE READ THE LABEL THOROUGHLY to ensure that all instructions and directions for the purchase, use and storage of the product, are followed and adhered to.

Read more on pest control advice, information and regulations