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Can someone identify this awful growth in my garden please?


Hi all,

This is my first post so apologies if anything is missed.

I've recently moved in to a property and there's a very invasive growth arising from beneath stone chippings out my back garden.

I've been advised it's Mare's tail, however could some professional gardens please confirm / correct image Also, how do you kill it? It's really worrying me at the moment.

Here is a picture of it

 Many thanks in advance.




  • JFJF Posts: 7

    Ahh it's cropping up everywhere. I've heard Kurtail is a good chemical treatment?

    Any advice at all is welcomed 

  • JFJF Posts: 7

    Many thanks Edd. 

  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 21,913

    This is an impossible weed to deal with.  You will never be rid of it, whatever you do! You can try to use contact weedkillers and they will have a limited effect, you can dig it up, you can remove the spore capsules but it will come back whatver you do.image

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • JFJF Posts: 7

    That's not good image It's an horrendous looking weed and clearly very invasive! 

  • landgirl100landgirl100 Posts: 655

    Not Mare's Tail, but Horsetail, Equisetum arvense, which is a fern. Mare's Tail is a water plant. I'm afraid Pansyface is right, it is almost impossible to get rid of. I think many people just keep cutting it down whenever it appears, which is as good as anything if only a small area is affected. Apparently it's great to use as pan scrubbers when the green growth appears - what your photo shows is the fertile fronds.

  • JFJF Posts: 7

    The articles I read about Kurtail seem to do the trick, but you have to apply it while it's in growth (which it currently is).

    I'm going to give that a try as it's currently sprouting up around a 20 m2 area in random parts.

  • landgirl100landgirl100 Posts: 655

    That sounds really nasty stuff - I just looked at the data sheet and instructions for use. I don't think it will work unless the leaves have appeared, though. Personally I wouldn't use an agricultural weedkiller like this in my garden, that's why arable fields are such deserts these days.

  • JFJF Posts: 7

    Yes appreciate that. My garden is segregated in the sense that the Marestail is currently growing in the patio area through loose stones.

    The rest of the garden thankfully seems unaffected (yet). I would rather a desert than this stuff growing every where.

  • LeifUKLeifUK Posts: 573

    I would rather have Japanese knotweed. 

    I think Mare's tail is an alternative name. The reason mycologists prefer Latin names is because English names are so confusing, and vary with region. I suspect botanists are similar. 

  • landgirl100landgirl100 Posts: 655

    You're right, we are! I tend to get a bit pernicketty when people throw around ambiguous common names, sorry about that. I hope you defeat the dreaded weed!

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