The metabolism of [14C]asulam (methyl 4-aminophenylsulphonylcarbamate), [14C] aminotriazole (1H-1,2,4-triazol-3-ylamine) and [14C]glyphosate (N-(phosphonomethyl)glycine) were assessed in Equisetum arvense L. (field horsetail). Following application of the test herbicides (4mg⋍0.3 °Ci herbicide/shoot) to the shoots of 2-year-old pot-grown plants, the total recovery of 14C-label after 1 week and 8 weeks was high for all three herbicides (>80-0% of applied radioactivity). Asulam was persistent (>69-7% of recovered radioactivity) in both shoots and rhizomes. Sulphanilamide, a hydrolysis product of asulam, accounted for the remainder of the recovered radioactivity. Aminotriazole showed evidence of conjugation in shoots and rhizomes. The principal 14C-labelled component in shoots was composed of high proportions of aminotriazole (>76-3%) together with the metabolites: X (ninhydrin positive), β-(3-amino-1,2,4-triazolyl-1-)α-alanine, Y (diazotization positive) and various unidentified compounds. Rhizomes generally contained lower proportions of intact aminotriazole (>59.4%) together with the metabolites X,Y and unidentified compounds. The proportion of aminotriazole did not decrease with time in shoots or rhizomes; however, the ratio of metabolite X: Y moved in favour of Y as the interval after treatment increased. Glyphosate was extensively metabolised in shoots and rhizomes to yield aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA) and various unidentified compounds. Differential metabolism appears to be one of the factors which may govern the persistence and toxicity of the test herbicides in E. arvense.