238. Horsetail

by Ricardo August. 26, 2010 5087 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 6 years, 9 months ago

but i thinks it's great avatar's tail

6 years, 9 months ago Edited
Mahyar7 6 years, 9 months ago

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

6 years, 9 months ago Edited
Jacki 6 years, 9 months 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.

6 years, 9 months ago Edited
Lynn 6 years, 9 months ago

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

6 years, 9 months ago Edited
Pandka 6 years, 9 months ago

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

6 years, 9 months ago Edited
Maryam 6 years, 9 months ago

really interesting shots!:)

6 years, 9 months ago Edited
Francesc 6 years, 9 months ago

Very interesting shots

6 years, 9 months ago Edited
Darlene Foster 6 years, 9 months ago

Very nice, Ricky!

6 years, 9 months ago Edited
Edgar Baird 6 years, 9 months ago

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

6 years, 9 months ago Edited
Moira 6 years, 9 months ago

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

6 years, 9 months ago Edited
Redro 6 years, 9 months 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.

6 years, 9 months ago Edited
É»„Æ™‹Ç†™ 6 years, 9 months ago

nice set!!!

6 years, 9 months ago Edited
John Wright 6 years, 9 months ago

Interesting post Ricky

6 years, 9 months ago Edited
Tripp 6 years, 9 months ago

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

6 years, 9 months ago Edited
Finbarr 6 years, 9 months ago

WOW!! interesting post,

6 years, 9 months ago Edited
Jon Laysell 6 years, 9 months ago

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

6 years, 9 months ago Edited
Juhász Imre 6 years, 9 months ago

Interesting plant!

6 years, 9 months ago Edited
Ray 6 years, 9 months ago

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

6 years, 9 months ago Edited
Sherij 6 years, 9 months ago

Very nice!! One piece looks iluminated???

6 years, 9 months ago Edited
Olga Helys 6 years, 9 months ago

Great close up and DOF !

6 years, 9 months ago Edited
Andrea 6 years, 9 months ago

Awesome shots!

6 years, 9 months ago Edited
Sara G 6 years, 9 months ago

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

6 years, 9 months ago Edited
Gregg Maretka 6 years, 9 months ago

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

6 years, 9 months ago Edited
William Teh 6 years, 9 months ago

Looks beautiful...

6 years, 9 months ago Edited
Walter 6 years, 9 months ago

Very interesting... :-)

6 years, 9 months ago Edited
Hajdara Istvan 6 years, 9 months ago

Nice :o)

6 years, 9 months ago Edited
Sandra Vermeulen 6 years, 9 months 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!!

6 years, 9 months ago Edited
Sadhya Rippon 6 years, 9 months 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.

6 years, 9 months ago Edited
Lynda 6 years, 9 months ago

Nice shot. The shoot looks luminous.

6 years, 9 months ago Edited
Brenda Nelson 6 years, 9 months ago

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

6 years, 9 months ago Edited
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