Horsetail plume

Horsetail plume- Assignment Help

Only a few of the weeds we see today are descendants from grander primal forms. The “degenerate” herbaceous plants of field horsetail (Equisetum Arvense L. #3 EQUAR), and related species, have tree-sized ancestors that dominated forests during the Carboniferous period around 300 million years ago. Early equisetums played a significant role in the formation of coal bed (12). Their extinction is partly explained by the fact that the equiseturns were able to reproduce. Two tiny gametophytes are formed by spores in the plant’s small fertile conicals. They bear male and female organs, and they are independent from each other. Water is the only place where sperm can pass from the male organ to the female organ for fertilization. The union results in a zygote, which is a fertile embryo. It produces both a green sterile and bushy shoot (the most prominent horsetail shape) as well as a fertile one. There are obvious technical problems with a land plant that relies on water for reproduction. Late in the Paleozoic, climate and geography changed to favor true dry-land plants like the conifers and the cycads. The giant equisetums have disappeared, and the “living fossils” of today are now restricted (12). This tiny relic from the Age of Amphibians will be found in the most hostile places (3).

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Equisetums are native to North America. They can be found from Greenland to Alaska, and southward to Virginia and California. The majority of these species are native to the northern climate regions. The northernmost species, marsh horsestail (E. palustre# EQUPA), can be found from Newfoundland to Alaska. It is found in wet meadows, along with the margins of streams, ponds, and other areas. Horsetails are able to thrive on moist grasslands, and damp roads embankments, particularly on sandy or gravelly sols (5). They prefer acid soils (13).



Horsetails are primitive perennials that reproduce by spores (13), and deep tuber-bearing, tuber-bearing, rhizomes (13) The fertile horsetail stems are visible in large colonies from early spring. These cylindrical, leafless, rush-like, light brown stems are visible from April to May. They can grow up to 10-25 cm in height and have a rough texture (10). They are hollow and jointed. Each joint has ridges and grooves. The edges are trimmed with a thin, papery sheath that is notched with 8-12 teeth. The joints easily pull apart. These stems, which are fertile and early in life, scatter their spores to winds. They wither and eventually die within a few weeks. These spore-bearing stems will be followed by green, plume-like branches (10 to 50 cm long) that are produced throughout the summer. These branches often appear in large numbers and give off the appearance of horse’s tail (10). They are typically four-angled but can sometimes only have three sides. They are joined but not hollow (13). The food-assimilating portion of the plant is the green horsetails. They provide the rhizomes the nutrients they need for next year’s fruiting season.


Horsetail’s top growths look like periscopes. This is a sign of the vast underground resources. They are formed from dark, hairy, branching stems that reach several feet into the ground. These stems bear dark tubers and can be easily detached to make new plants. Horsetail roots are very good at absorbing soil nutrients and other substances. The ash from a large horsetail crop yielded visible amounts of gold (7). The plant can also secrete useful amounts of cobalt, calcium, and silica. This is an effective fungicide to prevent black spot on roses, as well as mildew, on any plant. Horsetail tea can be used for mint rust prevention and to combat mallows like hollyhocks(7). Horsetail’s mineral properties make it an excellent choice for compost heaps. Horsetail can be burnt and its ashes recycled (3) if the compost isn’t too hot. NOMENCLATURE & HISTORY


Pliny, a Roman naturalist, gave the field horsetail Equisetum arvense (7) nearly 2000 years ago. Carolus Linnaeus (1707-1778), adopted the name in his Species Plantarum of 1753 (1). The Latin equua is the name of a horse, seta and bristle. It also contains arvens. Sometimes the plant can be confused with marestail (an aquatic plant from the genus Hippuris). Although it is not related with horsetails, once upon a time, it was believed that the two plants were males and women of the same species. The females lived in the water and the males invaded neglected fields. Equisetum is only genus within the Equisetaceae. There are approximately 25 species in the genus (14). The field horsetail can also be called meadow pine (green foxtail rush), pinetop, pingrass, snakegrass (5, horsetail Fern, bottlebrush and horse pipes (13)


Scouringrush is also known as horsetail. The hard fur-rowed stems are structurally reinforced with fine grains of silica. They were once used by housewives to scour churns and pans. Cabinet makers also used them as fine, sandpaperlike buffers (7). Gerard (6) reported that horsetail, also known as Dutch rush, was exported from Holland and sold in lots for polishing metal. It was also known as “pewterwort” by some who used it to scour the pewter. It was also used to polish the work of comb makers. The English word horsetail, which means horsetail, first appeared in English in Herebach’s Husbandry in 1577. B. Goode wrote: “For pasture or meddowe. The woorst, as Plinie saith. Is russhes fearne. and horsetayle.” (15).



Some herb shops sell dried horsetail for human consumption. Horsetail tea is an old remedy that herbalists have praised for its curative and soothing effects on disordered bladders. It is recommended for treating skin problems and clearing up inflammations. Dioscorides(4) stated that crushed plants can be used to heal wounds and cuts, and that the juice could be used for stomach hemorhage. Field horsetail was the most commonly used species in medicine. Its use dates back at least to the Romans who used the bruised leaves to treat bleedings and added the young shoots as tonics to salads. Even the green parts were eaten by poor people as an unappetizing vegetable dish. It was considered a valuable healing herb in medieval times.


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