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What about Horsetails?

Posted by GreenLarry Eng 8/9 (My Page) on
Sat, May 7, 05 at 10:16

I find these plants (Equisetum) intriguing, the fruiting bodies are quite an eye opener and almost look like a flower.
Now I know these are seen as pests around our homes, and thats what this posting is about.
You see, i often come across these growing in rural situations, between pavers, in cracks in footpaths,at the bottom
of walls etc, but rarely do I see them in the wild, and I was wondering what constitutes their wild habitat,
where would I expect to find one if out on a plant hunt?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: What about Horsetails?

Here in the US, I've never seen them growing as weeds near homes. I usually see them in marshy areas, along rivers, or other areas of low, wet ground.

Patrick Alexander

RE: What about Horsetails?

Come to Maine and check out 3 of my favorite borders! I hate the stuff, but it doesn't seem to do any damage... it's just unsightly.

When it really begins to bug me I will address it aggressively. But right now, I can "deal with it".

It IS a pretty cool plant, very ancient and that has earned my respect.

RE: What about Horsetails?

I think they are really cool plants especially the fruiting bodies that appear before the 'foliage'
I bet they were a sight in prehistoric times when they were giant sized!

RE: What about Horsetails?

I have to confess, that while ferns are my very favorite plants I really know virtually nothing about them. I've read the material (again and again) but it never really "sticks". And it's the same thing with horsetail.

I really DON'T like the effect of it in my perennial beds, but never get out there with sodden newspaper and mulch early enough to suffocate it. And, you know what? in the final analysis I've come to regard it much the same way I regard leeches, ticks, poison ivy, and dandilions.... incredibly adapted, resilient, and regardless of the nuisance factor, worthy of my respect.

It's funny how working in a garden and being outdoors, a "player" on nature's field, brings that out in me...

RE: What about Horsetails?

Hey Chelone,

Since these plants have been around for over 400 years I'd say they are survivors for sure! Not plants for the open garden, but wonderful in containers. PF

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