Featured Flora Friday: Horsetail Reed

Each Friday, we focus on one plant and explain where it grows, what makes it great, and why you should check it out. We’ll also offer up a few suggestions for nurseries and gardeners centers interested in adding it to their catalog.

Equesetum Hyemale or “Horsetail Reed”


John Wise from Garden Wise Nursery in South Carolina carries this beautiful ornamental grass, a primitive perennial that is thought to have been eaten by dinosaurs. Found  in Japanese-inspired gardens and bog-like environments, horsetail reed is a popular specimen in many shaded residential gardens, growing somtimes alongside hosta and Solomon’s Seal.

Although beautiful and hardy, this plant can be tricky to ship due to its long shoots.  Here are a few tricks for shipping tall plants like horsetail reed:

1) Ship Small: Horsetail reed is a relatively quick grower, so ship young plants that aren’t tall enough to need a special-sized box.

2) Get a special-size box: Check out USPS mail tubes and other containers for images and posters for long plants. Here’s one that is 6 by 38 inches, good for quarts and half-gallons.

3) Consider your competition: For harder-to-ship plants like full-grown horsetail reed, look at what other sellers are charging.  One online nursery sells 5-gallon containers for nearly sixty dollars. While a good price for some landscapers, this might be a bit pricey for many casual gardeners. Consider your own shipping rates and fees. If it’s less than other sellers, try listing your plant.

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