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Cornish Red Data (2009)

The descriptive text, below the map, is from the Cornish Red Data Book (2009). The map on this web page depicts the organisms distribution and shows the records made pre-2000 and those made since.

Equisetum variegatum - Variegated Horsetail

Range & Status

Native; Circumpolar Boreo-arctic Montane species. Largely restricted to western Britain; along the coast of Wales, across northern England, Scotland and Ireland.

Regional Distribution

Known from dune-slacks in only two sites on the north coast, at Penhale Sands (SW75) and Upton Towans (SW53).

Habitat & Ecology

Found in dune-slacks which can be filled with water in some years.


The Penhale site is in the MOD part of the dunes and is protected as a SAC. The Upton Towans site is not thought to be under threat.


At Penhale encroaching Grey Willow Salix cinerea subsp. oleifolia scrub has been recently cut back to keep the dune slacks open.


I.J. Bennallick, S. Board, C.N. French, P.A. Gainey, C. Neil, R. Parslow, A. Spalding and P.E. Tompsett. eds. 2009. Red Data Book for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. 2nd Edition.Croceago Press.

The Cornish Red Data Book Project was led by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Federation for Biological Recorders (CISFBR). The full text and species accounts (minus the maps) are available on the CISFBR website.