Saturday, 3 May 2008

Horsetails in a Hurry

It's the damndest thing. In the winter, when there's nothing to blog about, you have all the time in the world to do it; Spring arrives, there is life everywhere, but you are too busy out there working in it and watching it to blog about it. That passes as an excuse for not posting here for a couple of weeks, despite having loads to report.

I still don't have time to write much but I was very excited yesterday to find a new (to me) plant while walking my old dog very slowly up the hill (she now walks so slowly that I have plenty of time to spot new plants and to photograph them, so there are compensations in everything.)

And here it is - it's a horsetail - Equisetum sylvaticum, I think. It took ages to identify it because it is not in any book of wild flowers. That's because it's actually related to ferns, and so does not count as a flowering plant. It propagates by spores, as ferns do.

It's a fabulously exotic looking thing, I think, and it made a (very) slow walk well worth the effort.


Selma said...

Wow. Looks a bit like a totem pole. Amazing!

Puddock said...

Hi Selma,

I couldn't believe it when I found it amongst the grass - it's so alien looking. It DOES look like a totem pole - a teeny little fairy totem pole...oo...there's a thought for a kid's story...

I'm going to try to find out more about these plants and I'll post when I do.

Sarah O. said...

Life is so strange - I read this post yesterday never having heard of these plants before, and today my father came back from visiting a friend down the road with two of these. They are apparently taking over his lawn! He mows and the next day they're twice the height of the grass. The nearest plant nursery told him there's no way to get rid of them. I'm very interested to hear what you find out.

They're quite ancient and primeval looking, aren't they? I know you compare them to a fairy totem pole, but hearing how eerily fast they grow and swarm (they're swiftly advancing towards the back yard), I'm more inclined to agree with your "alien" adjective - as in alien invasion!

Liz said...

My allotment is totally plagued by these things! They don't look so pretty when they are hundreds of them together that need weeding!