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Water Horsetail

Equisetum fluviatile

Plant Data

Order:
Equisetales
Family:
Equisetaceae (Horsetail)
Flowers:
Flowerless. Horsetails reproduce by spores.
Fruit:
Ovoid cones sit on top of the fertile main stems. The cones are technically known as 'strobili' and reach a maximum of 1.5 cm in length.
Leaves:
The green furrowed stems have 10 to 30 very shallow grooves. Whorls of leaf-like branches appear along the erect single main stem.
Maximum Size:
150cm tall.
Foraging Notes:
The roots and stems are edible but cooking is advisable because Water Horsetail contains the enzyme thiaminase which depletes the body of vitamin B1 and 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.
Other Names:
River Horsetail, Swamp Horsetail.
Habitats:
Ditches, marshes, ponds, swamps, water, waterside, wetland.