238. Horsetail

by Ricardo August. 26, 2010 5192 views

Equisetum hyemale aka Scouring Rush or Horsetail


These living fossils have been around for the past 300 million years, a part of the Carboniferous or Coal Age, and are the last living example of “Sphenophytes” (plants having straight stems, with branches and leaves arranged in regular whorls). “Scouring Rush” gets its name from times past when it was used for scrubbing pans and polishing all sorts of objects, because its ribbed and furrowed stem cells have a high percentage of silica and feel abrasive to the touch. The Equisetum species are in the family, Equisetaceae, which is in the plant division, Pteridophyta. This means that Equisetum species are closely related to ferns, and their reproductive spores are dispersed by the winds. The popular and widely used name “Horsetail” comes from the Latin words equus (horse) and seta (bristle), from the peculiar bristly appearance of the jointed stems of the plants.

The plant bears no leaves, and looks almost like a pot of green bamboo stakes that florists use to support unusually tall plants. The stems are jointed and they come apart at each joint - usually with a loud popping sound. Where the tips (strobilis) are missing, the stems end in a circular depression with brown edges. It is not uncommon to see straw-brown dead tips on top of a healthy green stem. This is probably a safety valve for drought conditions. When water is more plentiful, the plant usually sends out shoots from the top edge of the remaining stem. These little spikes adhere to the stem as though they were welded there. The hyemale species has an insatiable desire to keep its roots very wet. It cannot be over-watered, and is happy to sit in large puddles - in fact, it thrives profusely in watery conditions. Its close relative Equisetum arvense has very little thirst, and can grow and thrive on dry, hard-packed soils.


Thanks Sadhya [photoblog.com] for the help on the ID

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Mahyar7 7 years, 1 month ago

but i thinks it's great avatar's tail

7 years, 1 month ago Edited
Mahyar7 7 years, 1 month ago

fantastic shots again.
God's Power again ...
Congratulations.........

7 years, 1 month ago Edited
Jacki 7 years, 1 month ago

Interesting, we have something that looks just like that here on my beach but we call it 'snake grass', now I will have to look more closely.

7 years, 1 month ago Edited
Lynn 7 years, 1 month ago

WOW!!! Very very impressive images...EXCELLENT :))

7 years, 1 month ago Edited
Pandka 7 years, 1 month ago

It is something neat in this plant... Beautiful shots!

7 years, 1 month ago Edited
Maryam 7 years, 1 month ago

really interesting shots!:)

7 years, 1 month ago Edited
Francesc 7 years, 1 month ago

Very interesting shots

7 years, 1 month ago Edited
Darlene Foster 7 years, 1 month ago

Very nice, Ricky!

7 years, 1 month ago Edited
Edgar Baird 7 years, 1 month ago

Ricky, these are wonderful! It is almost as if the plant itself is emitting light!

7 years, 1 month ago Edited
Moira 7 years, 1 month ago

Very interesting .
It reminded me of a flourescent bracelet my daughter has it pop closes too.

7 years, 1 month ago Edited
Rodica O 7 years, 1 month ago

Very interesting plant; I heard the name but I've just realized that I never knew how it looks. Fascinating construction. Nature always leaves me in awe.

7 years, 1 month ago Edited
É»„Æ™‹Ç†™ 7 years, 1 month ago

nice set!!!

7 years, 1 month ago Edited
John Wright 7 years, 1 month ago

Interesting post Ricky

7 years, 1 month ago Edited
Tripp 7 years, 1 month ago

Very informative post and great photos..I like that luminosity too and the overhead perspective.

7 years, 1 month ago Edited
Finbarr 7 years, 1 month ago

WOW!! interesting post,

7 years, 1 month ago Edited
Jarvo Laysell 7 years, 1 month ago

Very interesting post Ricky, I don't remember seeing these before. How did you light these, they look as if they're glowing.

7 years, 1 month ago Edited
Juhász Imre 7 years, 1 month ago

Interesting plant!

7 years, 1 month ago Edited
Ray King 7 years, 1 month ago

Well that's a horse tail of a different color! Very informative post. And such a cool looking plant!

7 years, 1 month ago Edited
Sherij 7 years, 1 month ago

Very nice!! One piece looks iluminated???

7 years, 1 month ago Edited
Olga Helys 7 years, 1 month ago

Great close up and DOF !

7 years, 1 month ago Edited
Andrea 7 years, 1 month ago

Awesome shots!

7 years, 1 month ago Edited
Sara G 7 years, 1 month ago

Amazing plant! Thanks for the information..great post!

7 years, 1 month ago Edited
Gregg Maretka 7 years, 1 month ago

awesome... looks like they are glowing...never seen anything like it.

7 years, 1 month ago Edited
William Teh 7 years, 1 month ago

Looks beautiful...

7 years, 1 month ago Edited
Walter 7 years, 1 month ago

Very interesting... :-)

7 years, 1 month ago Edited
Hajdara Istvan 7 years, 1 month ago

Nice :o)

7 years, 1 month ago Edited
Sandra Vermeulen 7 years, 1 month ago

[i]Sorry, I have to adjust you!!
I saw many horses, I saw many tails of the many horses ... sorry Ricky, but this is no horsetail!! I'm sure it is not!![/i] LOL

Great post, my friend!!

7 years, 1 month ago Edited
Sadhya Rippon 7 years, 1 month ago

I know this one very well as it is a real pest in my vegetable garden. Its a survivor, and how ever many times I dig it up and weed it out, it always pops up again.

7 years, 1 month ago Edited
Lynda 7 years, 1 month ago

Nice shot. The shoot looks luminous.

7 years, 1 month ago Edited
Brenda Nelson 7 years, 1 month ago

What absolutely COOL shots! Love your change in focus from one shot to the other - great clarity and color, too!

7 years, 1 month ago Edited
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