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Mike's Blog - Day 221

An ancient plant for you today, one of the “Horsetails". This one is the Rough Horsetail, also sometimes called Dutch Rush, Equisetum hyemale.

A bit closer.

They get lit up quite nicely at this time of year by the low autumn sun.

Its most certainly not related to rushes however. Rushes flower, horsetails do not, as such. Like ferns, the primitive plants produce wind-blown spores, you can see the fruiting cone-like bodies.

It can take over a bit but this one is fairly easy to control, plus it’s contained by the wall in the fossil fern bed where it grows and the block paved path at the front. The Equisetum you don’t want in the garden is E.arvense, sometimes called Mare’s tail, that can be extremely difficult to get rid of.

Rough horsetail is often sold as a trendy architectural plant for a trough, but also has its uses in a wildlife pond edge, especially for winter interest.

Also a picture of a piece of fossilised horsetail for you, one of the long extinct species of the genus. It would have been huge. The pen is roughly the diameter of the species in our collection. Experts say they would have been 10-15 meters tall (that’s about 30-45 feet Burt).