Saturday, 25 May 2013

Horse Tail (equisetum)

Further reading: 

Rambold's Moor
Horsetail Family.

Considered a living fossil, horsetail (Equisetum arvense) is one of the oldest plants on the planet, primarily because it is one of the toughest to eradicate. Horsetail has an airy, fernlike look, upright like a bottle brush, with wiry, leafless 6-inch to 2-foot stems as well as shoots tipped with a cone that produces the plant's reproductive spores. 

Yeadon Tarn

• Field Horsetail Equisetum arvense is very common, occurs in a very wide range of habitats, and can be a persistent garden and arable ‘weed’. It can safely be identified from the four blade-like ridges on its branches; it is the most ‘untidy’ local species, often with creeping or reclining stems with uneven drooping branches.

 • Water Horsetail Equisetum fluviatile is fairly common, often forming large stands in shallow standing water throughout the three counties; it is often unbranched, and no other species has such a large hollow in the stem, so it is easily squashed with little pressure.

 • Marsh Horsetail Equisetum palustre is fairly common in wet places, sometimes in standing water; it looks like a more upright, short-branched, ‘neat and tidy’ version of Field Horsetail, safely identified by the teeth on its sheaths, which are black in the middle, with white edges. 

• Great Horsetail Equisetum telmateia is the one species which can be identified, from its large size and whitish stems alone, from a considerable distance or from a moving vehicle; it is rather local, but not confined to any particular habitat.

 • Wood Horsetail Equisetum sylvaticum is distinct in having its drooping branches regularly branched, so as to look more like a spruce tree than the other species. It is a scarce western species, found mainly in Northants oakwoods with such species as Wood-sorrel and Oppositeleaved Golden-saxifrage.  

Yeadon Banks 

Rambold's Moor



Found at the park.



Further reading:

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