Vascular – Exotic
A plant with erect stems arising from rapidly spreading underground rhizomes. Stems unbranched or very sparsely branched, and the central 2/3 diameter of stem hollow. Stem ridges with 2 rows of tubercles, sheath with black bands at top and bottom. When fertile, apiclate (on flexible stalks) cones produced on the green stems.
Similar to Equisetum arvense but unbranched or very sparsely branched, and, when fertile, with cones produced on the green stems, not on seperate brown stems. Also distinguished by the central hollow 2/3 diameter of stem, stem ridges with 2 rows of tubercles, sheath with black bands at top and bottom, and cone apiculate. (Webb et al 1995).
Europe, Asia, N. America
equisetum: From the Latin equus ‘horse’ and setum ‘bristle’, the barren growths resembling horses’ tails.
Life Cycle Comments
Rhizomes to 1m underground. Toxic to stock. Aggressive and almost impossible to erradicate. being sold and given away as a medicinal herb. Slender asparagus-like spear with black rings. (Melanie Newfield, 1996). Major potential weed.