Huntington>Conservatory>Plant Lab>Horsetail


Horsetails are plants that belong to the only genus, Equisetum, in the division Sphenophyta of seedless vascular plant. They are herbaceous perennials with jointed aerial stems and jointed rhizomes. Equisetum is an ancient genus which can be traced back to Devonian times. It might be the oldest surviving group of vascular plants on earth. They are diplohaplontic with heteromorphic alternation of generations. Horsetail can also reproduce very successfully through asexual reproduction by fragmentation and rhizome growth. They are the only terrestrial plants that require silicon as one of their essential nutrients. The siliceous deposits in their cells make them very useful as "scouring brushes".

An unbranched horsetail: the scale-like leaves form whorls around a node.

A strobilus (the cone-like spore-bearing reproductive structure) of a horsetail

A branched horsetail: these branches grow laterally around a node on the aerial stem.

Back to Plant Lab mainpage

Back to Conservatory

Copyright for the photos on this website belongs to Pu Chen. Images should not be redistributed without the permission of the photographer.