Horsetail Reed

MYBG-EQHY


Type: Plants

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Equisetum hyemale

Family

Equisetaceae

Origin

North America

Description

Horsetail (Equisetum hyemale), also called scouring rush, is a slender, green, reed-type ornamental grass with has tiny leaves fused onto its stems. These stems are dark green in color at times (picking up some bronze color in the wintertime) and hollow. Tiny ridges run vertically along the stems and contain silica, giving them the rough feel that earns the plant the common name, "rough horsetail." The stems, which are punctuated by nodes, largely owe their beauty to their striking black and cream-colored bands. 

Horsetail is also an herbal medication whose use dates back to the ancient Roman and Greek medicine. Conventionally, horsetail was used to stop bleeding, cure wounds and ulcers as well as treat tuberculosis and kidney ailments. This herb encloses silicon that has a major role in fortifying the bones. Owing to this attribute of horsetail, this herbal medicine is occasionally recommended as a remedy for osteoporosis. In addition, in herbal medicine, horsetail is also used as a diuretic and also as a component in the manufacturing of a number of cosmetics.

Environment

Horsetail does well in sun or part sun, but is not tolerant of shady areas. It does not grow leaves, so it subsists on the chlorophyll in the stems for food. 

Plant in soil-less substrate mixtures composed of bark, peat and perlite. Plant it in gravel. Or plant it in clay, loam or sandy soil. The horsetails prefer an acidic soil.

It grows in swampy areas, making it a good pond plant for the home, and gets up to 4 feet tall. It has deep root systems, which soak up nutrients from the soil or pond water. Extra fertilizer is not necessary, and in fact the horsetail will often react badly to extra fertilization.

Landscape Use

As a plant to grow on wet ground, where most ornamental plants would not survive. As a vertical accent for a water feature.

Caution

Horsetail have a strong proclivity to spread and form a monoculture .Container planting is a good idea if you do not want the horsetails to spread. It is an aggressive plant, and containers help keep it in check. If you plant the horsetail in a pond, submerge or partially submerge the horsetail in a tall container. The sides of the pond will keep the plant from spreading to the yard. If planting the horsetail in the ground, plant it in a deep container and place the container in the ground with the lip of the container above the soil line.

 


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