Arizona Naturalists >>> Ponderosa Woodland Flora >>> Equisetaceae >>> Equisetum arvense

Field Horsetail

Equisetum arvense

Field Horsetail, Equisetum arvense, photo © by Mike Plagens

Observed along a moist ravine in ponderosa woodland in Reynold's Canyon, Sierra Ancha, Gila Co., Arizona, USA. June 2010.

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FLOWERS: No Flowers! This ancient plant lineage arose prior to flowering plants. On separate stems in spring there are spore-bearing structures that resemble cones.

LEAVES: No Leaves. Photosynthetic stems are hollow and appear jointed. At each joint a whorl of finer stems emerge that may be further subdivided as well.

HERB: Herbaceous plant regrowing in spring from underground stems. Mostly less than 50 cm tall. Longitudinal striations on stems.

RANGE: Found in ponderosa woodlands where surface moisture is present at least seasonally. Also found throughout North America including the Arctic.

FRUIT: Minute spores are released from the sporangia.


Equisetaceae -- Horsetail Family

More Information:

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Arizona Naturalist
Arizona's Ponderosa Woodlands
The Flora of Arizona's Ponderosa Woodlands


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 08 October 2012