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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains

1. Equisetaceae, the Horsetail Family

1. Equisetum L. -- Horsetail, scouring rush

5. Equisetum palustre L. -- Marsh horsetail


Stems alike, annual, regularly branched, erect, 2-6 dm tall, deeply 7- to 10-ridged, the ridges smooth to rough but without spicules; central cavity ca. 1/6 the stem diameter, about the same size as the outermost cavities; main stem sheaths 7-17 mm long, the teeth free or partly connate, brown to dark brown, 3-4 mm long. Branches few to many, simple, ascending, 5- or 6-angled; sheaths on the first internode of the branches with 5 or more teeth. Cone terminal on the main stem, blunt, long-stalked, deciduous, appearing late Jun--early Aug. Emergent or marginal in oxbow swamps and fresh spring-fed streams; uncommon; se ND, ne SD; (Circumboreal, in N.Amer. s to PA, NE, MT, n ID and WA).
GIF- Distribution Map

Map key


Previous Species -- Equisetum laevigatum A. Br. -- Smooth scouring rush
Return to Family -- Equisetaceae - The Horsetail Family
Next Species -- Equisetum pratense Ehrh. -- Meadow horsetail

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