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Genus Equisetum Family Equisetaceae

Description: Terrestrial plants with erect stems from the rhizome; aerial stems hollow, jointed, ribbed and photosynthetic; shoots fertile or vegetative, sometimes branched at nodes.

Leaves simple, fused together lengthwise to form cylindrical or dilated sheaths, tips scale-like and free.

Strobili usually borne on specialized fertile shoots, sessile or stalked, with numerous closely-appressed polygonal sporophylls. Sporophylls bear 5–10 reflexed sporangia. Prothalli minute, monoecious or dioecious. Most species occur in wet places; and some are aggressive weeds.


Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 30 species, cosmopolitan except for Australia and New Zealand. Australia: 1 species (naturalized).

Text by G. J. Harden
Taxon concept:

One species in NSW: Equisetum arvense

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