Equisetaceae (weeds)

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Equisetum arvense (click on image to enlarge it)
Author: Alex Lomas
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Equisetaceae - horsetail family (weeds)

The family of Equisetaceae currently contains only the genus Equisetum with around 25 species. Many more extinct species are known, some of them tree-like which grew to a height of up to 30 m. The family flourished 300-400 million years ago.

Equisetum species are hardy plants with segmented branches and scale-like leaves. Reproduction is through sprouting, horizontal rhizomes or spores, no flowers are formed. The species contain abrasive silicates and have been used for cleaning pots in earlier times. Equisetum arvense (field horsetail) is widely distributed in temperate regions and can be an agricultural weed in some crops.

The following species are currently entered under this family: