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Reddish Vale Country Park

Flowers/April

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Horsetail

 

Equisetum is a genus of vascular plants that reproduce by spores rather than seeds. The genus includes 15 species commonly known as horsetails and scouring rushes.

 

They mostly grow between 0.2-1.5m tall, though some tropical species can grow up to 5m tall.

The horsetails were a much larger and more diverse group in the distant past before seed plants became dominant across the Earth. Some species were large trees reaching 30m tall.

 

Called the horsetail because of it's resemblance to a horse's tail.

Also known as scouring rush because they are coated with abrasive silica and were once used to scour pots and pans.

Another relative of the horsetail, the field horsetail has been found to accumulate more gold than any other plant. Up to four and a half ounces of gold per ton of fresh plant. Mining engineers consider field horsetails an indicator species of gold, but not a viable commercial source.

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