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Wood Horsetail

Equisetum sylvaticum

Plant Data

Order:
Equisetales
Family:
Equisetaceae (Horsetail)
Flowers:
Flowerless. Horsetails reproduce by spores.
Fruit:
A blunt cone on the top of the upright stem.
Leaves:
The branches are very distinctive making this plant easily identifiable. The branches are feathery in appearance and they droop downwards. Also, the branches themselves have branches coming off them. The leaves are scale-like, covering the branches.
Maximum Size:
50cm tall.
Foraging Notes:
Wood Horsetail can be used as a substitute for asparagus. The fertile shoots can be cooked and eaten in springtime. The roots can be cooked and is high in starch. It's advisable not to consume too much of this plant because it contains the enzyme thiaminase which depletes the body of vitamin B1. Cooking it destroys the enzyme.
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:
Woodland Horsetail.
Habitats:
Hedgerows, meadows, moorland, wetland, woodland.