I have this plant crop up all over my garden. The stem is somewhat brittle which means you can't uproot it easily. It just snaps off. I don't know if it is a fern or grass or shrub. It likes sandy and well drained soil and is quite Hardy to the wet weather. One of a few plants the snails don't touch.Needly green plant - singleNeedly green plant - expanding

  • That's a weed, not a pest. A pesky weed, but still, not a pest.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Jun 25 at 12:16

1 Answer 1


This plant is Equisetum arvense, the horsetail. The species has been around for over 100 million years. I have this plant in my garden and although it may be fascinating it takes a lot of work to keep under control. It is considered invasive in Australia and Oregon as it is difficult to control with herbicides and is resistant to glyphosphate (known as Roundup) as well.

My attempts to control it have shown that the best method is to wait till it is a few inches tall and pull sharply from the base of the plant. Try to get as much of the root as possible. Do not compost these guys, straight to the garbage or organic recycle. Do not let them get so tall that they start sporing. That organ is at the top of the stem and wider with a different colour.

Alternately, the Wikipedia article indicates the

The young plants are eaten cooked or raw, but considerable care must be taken

I just pull them in the spring and summer and by the fall their activity is low.

  • 1
    Thank you so much. I have never seen it in Germany. So I thought it was a UK thing. Really helpful answer!
    – Katie
    Commented Jun 22 at 12:23

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