Scientific name Equisetum fluviatile – Eleocharis palustris swamp
Common name Water Horsetail – Common Spike-rush swamp
Community code FW3G


FW3G: Equisetum fluviatile – Eleocharis palustris swamp   FW3G map: Equisetum fluviatile – Eleocharis palustris swamp

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The community comprises rather variables stands united by the presence of Equisetum fluviatile, whose cover tends to be rather low, due in part to the narrow and erect nature of the plant, but nevertheless this is the sole constant species. Only Eleocharis palustris is also frequent here. Occasionally, one may only find some Sparganium erectum, Iris pseudacorus, Persicaria amphibia or Mentha aquatica growing here and these can each be plentiful. Floating patches of Lemna minor may also occur amongst the horsetails.



This swamp community is found in fairly basic and mildly eutrophic waters fringing lakes.



Four sub-communities are tentatively described. Three are named after the main species associating with Equisetum fluviatile: the Nuphar lutea sub-community (FW3Gi), the Eleocharis palustris sub-community (FW3Gii) and the Iris pseudacorus sub-community (FW3Giii). In the Equisetum fluviatile sub-community (FW3Giv) there are no frequent associates.


Similar communities

The high frequency of Equisetum fluviatile and scarcity of Phragmites australis help separate this vegetation type from the other communities in group FW3. From the FE2A Equisetum fluviatileMenyanthes trifoliata mire the present community differs in its lesser presence of Menyanthes trifoliata and Carex rostrata.


Conservation value

This is species-poor plant community, with relatively low recognised conservation value.



These swamp stands are essentially unmanaged. The main threats to them are through lake eutrophication and drainage.