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Marsh Horsetail

Equisetum palustre

Plant Data

Order:
Equisetales
Family:
Equisetaceae (Horsetail)
Flowers:
Flowerless. Horsetails reproduce by spores.
Fruit:
A blunt-tipped cone sits on top of the main stem. The cone matures in July and August.
Leaves:
The green furrowed stems have 8 to 10 ridges. Whorls of leaf-like branches appear along the erect single main stem. The branches are grow either outward or nearly erect from below the stems sheathed nodes. The lower sheaths are dark brown and shorter than the upper ones. The sheaths have between 4 and 12 teeth which are green with black teeth.
Maximum Size:
50cm tall.
Foraging Notes:
Edible but cooking is recommended as Marsh Horsetail contains the enzyme thiaminase which depletes the body of vitamin B1. Cooking destroys the enzyme. Consumption of large amounts of this plant can cause serious health problems.
Never consume a wild plant unless you are 100% certain that it is safe to eat and you know that you have identified it correctly.
Habitats:
Bogs, fens, grassland, heathland, marshes, meadows, swamps, waterside, woodland.