Vascular Plants of the Gila Wilderness

Presented in Association with the
Western New Mexico University Department of Natural Sciences

(Horsetail, Scouring Rush Family)

The Equisetaceae are ferns with a rushlike growth pattern and rhizomes. They have much reduced leaves which are united into a sheath with apical teeth. The stems are cylindrical, ridged and jointed and hollow. At the top of fertile stems resides a cone shaped reproductive zone. The spores are green except in hybrids (white) and have four appendages call elaters which coil and uncoil fast enough to make the spores seem to jump under the microscope.

Equisetum arvense (Field Horsetail)
Equisetum hyemale subsp. affine (Common Scouring Rush)
Equisetum laevigatum (Smooth Scouring Rush)

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