field horsetail

(Equisetum arvense)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

field horsetail

NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Wetland
Indicator
Status

Great Plains

FAC - Facultative

Midwest

FAC - Facultative

Northcentral & Northeast

FAC - Facultative

Nativity

Native

Occurrence

Common and widespread

Habitat

Moist to moderately dry.

Sporulation

Late April to early May

 
Height

Sterile stems 6 to 24

Fertile stems 4 to 8

 

Identification

This is an erect, bushy perennial that rises on separate fertile and unfertile stems from long, branched, creeping rhizomes with fleshy tubers. The rhizomes are similar to the aerial stems but are not hollow. They extend to a depth of 40 or more. The tubers are ¼ to ½ in diameter and are arranged singly or in pairs along the rhizomes.

Fertile stems are produced in early spring, late April to early May. They are erect, 4 to 8 tall, up to in diameter, unbranched, brittle, and succulent. They resemble an asparagus sprout but are brownish because they lack chlorophyll. The leaves are reduced in size, fused together for part of their length, and appressed against the stem, forming a collar-like sheath around the nodes. The sheaths are ½ to ¾ long. They have fewer than 14 large, 3 16 to long, dark brown to black teeth along the top rim. The teeth may be separate or they may be stuck together, but not fused, into more than 4 small groups. A solitary, spore-bearing cone is borne on a stalk at the end of the stem. The cone is 3 16 to 1 long, circular in cross-section, elliptic in long section, and rounded at the top. It is the same brownish color as the stem the stalk to which it is attached. It is covered with spore-bearing tubercles. The tubercles are darker brown to black with white markings. After the spores are shed the fertile stems die back.

Infertile stems are produced in late spring, after the fertile stems have wilted, and die back in the fall. They are erect, 6 to 24 tall, 1 16 to 3 16 in diameter, hollow, and green. The central cavity is about ¼ the diameter of the stem. The stems have 4 to 14 vertical ridges, though they usually have no fewer than 10 ridges. The ridges are rough to the touch but do not have silica deposits. The stems are segmented by up to 20 nodes about 1 apart. At the top of all but the uppermost segment is an appressed, ring-like sheath. The sheaths are 3 16 to long, green, with a narrow black band at the base and wider black band at the tip. At the top rim of the sheath are 4 to 14 brown teeth, the number of teeth equaling the number of stem ridges. The teeth are about 1 16 to long. They may be separate but are often fused together at the tip in pairs. They are persistent, remaining after maturity.

A whorl of slender branchlets is produced at each node. The branchlets are usually 4-angled, rarely 3-angled, solid, ascending or sometimes horizontal, never drooping, and usually do not themselves branch. Both 3-angled and 4-angled branchlets may occur on the same stem. Like the stems, the branchlets have segments with sheaths. The first segment of each branchlet is longer than the sheath below the node from which it extends. The branchlet sheath has only 3 or 4 teeth along the top rim, the number of teeth equaling the number of branchlet ridges. The teeth taper gradually to a narrow tip. By mid-summer the branchlets may become as long as the stem.

 
Similar
Species

Meadow horsetail (Equisetum pratense) has fertile stems that are initially yellowish-brown and unbranching, but then turn green and sprout branches after the spore-producing cones have disappeared. The stems have short, pointed, epidermal projections made of silica. The branches are 3-sided and horizontal to drooping.

Woodland horsetail (Equisetum sylvaticum) has branches that are themselves branched. It is the only horsetail in Minnesota with compound branches. The teeth of the leaf sheaths are reddish brown.


Distribution Distribution Map   Sources: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 28.

Comments

Taxonomy
There are 15 species of Equisetum, which is the only living genus in the family Equisetaceae, which is the only family in the order Equisetales, which is the only order in the class Equisetopsida. The history of Equisetum has been traced 300 million years to the Cretaceous period, and possibly to the Triassic period. That could make Equisetum the oldest living genus of vascular plants.

The genus Equisetum is divided into two subgenera, Equisetum and Hippochaete. field horsetail is one of the eight species in the subgenus Equisetum. Six of those eight species are found in North America. Five are found in Minnesota.

In this subgenus, the stems tend to be regularly branched, the branches appearing in a whorl at each stem node. This gives the plant the appearance of a horse’s tail, giving rise to the common name “horsetail”. The aerial stems of most of the species in this subgenus are annual.


Taxonomy

No Rank:

Moniliformopses (Equisetum + ferns)

 

Class:

Equisetopsida (horsetails)

 

Order:

Equisetales (horsetails)

 

Family:

Equisetaceae (horsetails)

 

Genus:

Equisetum (horsetails)

 

Subgenus:

Equisetum (horsetails)

 
Synonyms

Equisetum arvense var. alpestre

Equisetum arvense var. boreale

Equisetum arvense var. campestre

Equisetum arvense var. riparium

Equisetum boreale

Equisetum calderi

Equisetum saxicola

 
Common
Names

bottlebrush

common horsetail

field horsetail

foxtail-rush

horse pipes

horsetail

horsetail-fern

jointed rush

 

mare’s tail

meadow-pine

pine-grass

pinetop

scouring-rush

snake grass

snake-grass

western horsetail


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

apiculate

Ending in a short, abrupt, flexible point.

 

node

The small swelling of the stem from which one or more leaves, branches, or buds originate.

 

rhizome

A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the nodes.

 

succulent

Having thick leaves, stems, or roots that store water. Succulent tissues appear fleshy externally and juicy internally.

 

tuber

An underground root (as with dahlias) or stem (as with potatoes), thickened by the accumulation of reserved food (usually starch), which serves for food storage and vegetative propagation.

       

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Infertile Shoot

  field horsetail   field horsetail
       
  field horsetail   field horsetail
       

Fertile Shoot

  field horsetail   field horsetail
       
  field horsetail   field horsetail
       

Stem

  field horsetail    
       
       

 

Camera

     

Slideshows

   
  Equisetum arvense
Susanne Wiik
 
  Equisetum arvense  
 
About

Åkersnelle, Field Horsetail

 
     
  Field Horsetail (Equisetum arvense)
Andree Reno Sanborn
 
  Field Horsetail (Equisetum arvense)  
     
  Equisetum arvense HORSETAIL
Frank Mayfield
 
  Equisetum arvense HORSETAIL  
     
  Equisetum arvense
RCalder5
 
   
 
About

Published on May 11, 2013

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Equisetum+arvense

 
     
  Equisetum arvense ( with translation text )
fidel socias martinez
 
   
 
About

Published on May 24, 2012

· Plants of future (http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Equisetum+arvense)

· GRIN - Taxonomic information (http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/tax_search.pl)

 
     

 

slideshow

     

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Other Videos

 
  科学映像館 Equisetum arvense ツクシ・(スギナ)
ODAKATOSHIO
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Sep 8, 2008

撮影・編集 オムニ・サイエンスネット omni/sciencenet ■omni@m2.pbc.ne.jp 配信責・尾高俊夫

▲科学映像館 Equisetum arvense ツクシ・(スギナ)

 
     
  Field Horsetail: Overview
NZ Landcare Trust
 
   
 
About

Published on Mar 3, 2014

No description available.

 
     
  Field Horsetail / Common horsetail (Equisetum arvense) - 2014-04-22
W3stlander
 
   
 
About

Published on Apr 25, 2014

Equisetum arvense, the Field Horsetail or Common Horsetail, is a herbaceous perennial plant.

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Heermoes (Equisetum arvense) is een plant uit de paardenstaartenfamilie (Equisetaceae). De plant wordt ook wel 'roobol', 'akkerpaardenstaart' of 'unjer' genoemd.

 
     

 

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