Overview

Distribution

Range Description

Equisetum hyemale is native throughout temperate Asia, North America, South America and Europe. It is also cultivated widely (USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program 2012).

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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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The distribution of Equisetum hyemale is Holarctic, and nearly circumboreal, spanning vast regions of North America and Eurasia. In North America occurrences are as far south as the White, Inyo and Warner Mountains in California and into Virgina on the eastern seaboard.

  • *University of California. 1921. Publications in botany, Volume 9. By University of California, Berkeley
  • : *Jepson Manual. 1993. Equisetum hyemale University of California, Berkeley, Ca.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Subspecies 2 (1 in the flora): North America, Mexico, Central America in Guatemala, Europe, Asia.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
A slow-growing, evergreen, rhizomous herb found in shaded open wet woodland along streams and rivers, base-rich moorland flushes and sand dunes growing in permanently moist sandy or clay soils high in minerals and silica (Online Atlas of the British and Irish Flora 2012, Castroviejo et al. 1986).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Associations

In Great Britain and/or Ireland:
Foodplant / saprobe
seriate or widely scattered, covered pycnidium of Ascochyta coelomycetous anamorph of Ascochyta equiseti is saprobic on locally bleached, dead, dry stem of Equisetum hyemale
Remarks: season: 2-4

Plant / associate
mycelial muff of Morchella esculenta is associated with live root of Equisetum hyemale

Foodplant / saprobe
sometimes in rows acervulus of Titaeospora coelomycetous anamorph of Titaeospora equiseti is saprobic on dying, locally reddish-brown stained stem of Equisetum hyemale
Remarks: season: 3-4

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Evolution and Systematics

Functional Adaptations

Functional adaptation

Stems vary stiffness: scouring horsetail
 

Stems of scouring horsetail vary their stiffness by having rings of supportive tissues that react to changes in turgor.

     
  "Plants with hollow axes, e.g. various horsetails and grasses, serve as generators of biological concepts for technical structures with variable stiffness. Their structure is characterised by a thin outer ring of strengthening tissue stabilised by a lining of parenchyma cells (Fig. 1A-C). The hollow stems are divided into shorter segments (internodes) by transverse walls and stem thickenings at the so called nodes. The nodes significantly reduce the danger of local buckling in these light-weight structures. The stability of these stems depends significantly on the internal pressure (turgor) of the parenchymatous cells. If the turgor pressure is reduced, e.g. by water deficiency, stiffness and stability of the stems decrease. In some species--such as the Brazilian Giant Horsetail (Equisetum giganteum)...the resistance to ovalisation is extremely turgor-dependent. In other horsetail species--such as the Dutch Rush (E. hyemale)--the outer ring of strengthening tissue is connected via wedge-shaped elements with an inner ring of strengthening tissue forming a mechanically resistant sandwich structure (Fig. 1D, E). These stems are also stabilised by the pressurised lining of parenchymatous cells but depend much less on the turgor pressure of the parenchyma cells. The mechanical stability resisting stem ovalisation is diminished by only about 20% due to reduction of the turgor pressure.

"Potential technical implementations are manifold, inspired by plants with mechanical properties of the stem varying with the internal pressure of the pressurised cellular lining. These include light-weight structures with chambered pressure-stabilised pneumatic structures that feature a segmental variation of stiffness and the ability to adapt their stiffness or form to changing outer conditions, facilitated either adaptively or via integrated active control. Envisaged technical applications for these types of biomimetic technical smart materials include: (1) shells of airplane wings and other aircraft (adaptation to changing aerodynamics); (2) shells of buildings of innovative construction; (3) car parts, e.g. aerodynamically adjustable spoilers."(Speck et al. 2004:199-200)

  Learn more about this functional adaptation.
  • Speck, T; Masseleter, T; Prum, B; Speck, O; Luchsinger, R; Fink, S. 2004. Plants as concept generators for biomimetic lightweight structures with various stiffness and self-repair mechanisms. Journal of Bionics Engineering. 1(4): 199-205.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Equisetum hyemale

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Equisetum hyemale

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 14
Specimens with Barcodes: 18
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2014

Assessor/s
Lansdown, R.V.

Reviewer/s
Smith, K.

Contributor/s
Stanley, C. & Khela, S.

Justification
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National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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Population

Population
This is generally a common species throughout Europe and is often considered a weed.

Population Trend
Increasing
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Threats

Major Threats

There are no threats to this species. It was previously threatened by land drainage, grazing and trampling of riverbanks by livestock in the United Kingdom (Online Atlas of the British and Irish Flora 2012).

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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions

There are no conservation measures in place or needed. It is listed as Endangered in the Czech Republic (Holub and Procházka 2000), Vulnerable in Croatia (Nikolić and Topić 2005), Near Threatened in Hungary (Király 2007) but Least Concern in Denmark (NERI 2007), Estonia (eBiodiversity Estonia 2012), Germany (Ludwig and Schnittler 1996), Luxembourg (Colling 2005), Norway (Artsdatabanken 2010), Switzerland (Moser et al. 2002) and the United Kingdom (Cheffings and Farrell 2005).

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Economic Uses

Uses: MEDICINE/DRUG

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Wikipedia

Equisetum hyemale

Equisetum hyemale, commonly known as rough horsetail, scouring rush, scouringrush horsetail and in South Africa as snake grass, is a perennial herb in the fern Division Pteridophyta.[1] It is a native plant throughout the Holarctic Kingdom, found in North America, Europe, and northern Asia.

Distribution[edit]

In nature Equisetum hyemale grows in mesic (reliably moist) habitats, often in sandy or gravelly areas. It grows from between sea level to 2,530 metres (8,300 ft) in elevation.[2]

It is primarily found in wetlands, and in riparian zones of rivers and streams where it can withstand seasonal flooding.[2] It is also found around springs and seeps, and can indicate their presence when not flowing. Other habitats include moist forest and woodland openings, lake and pond shores, ditches, and marshes and swamps.

Colony in open woodland, Cap Tourmente, Québec.

Description[edit]

Equisetum hyemale has vertical jointed reed-like stalks of medium to dark green. The hollow stems are up to 3 feet (0.91 m) in height. The stems are not branched with conspicuous ridges, impregnated with silica which makes them feel rough and harsh.[3][4][5]

The tiny leaves are joined together around the stem, forming a narrow black-green band or sheath at each joint. Like other ferns and their relatives, the plant reproduces by spores and does not produce flowers or seeds.[3]

The stems are generally deciduous in cold climates, and remain during winter in warmer climates. It forms dense spreading colonies, in full to partial sun.

Subspecies

Uses[edit]

Dried plant, used as traditional polishing material in Japan.

Domestic[edit]

The rough stems have been used to scour or clean pots, and used as sandpaper.[8][9]

Boiled and dried Equisetum hyemale is used as traditional polishing material, similar to a fine grit sandpaper, in Japan.

Music

The stems are used to shape the reeds of reed instruments such as clarinets or saxophones.

Medicinal[edit]

Some Plateau Indian tribes boiled the stalks to produce a drink used as a diuretic and to treat venereal disease.[10]

It is used as a homeopathic remedy.[3]

Plant's texture in a massed planting.

Cultivation[edit]

Equisetum hyemale cultivated as an ornamental plant, for use in contained garden beds and planters, and in pots. It is a popular "icon plant" in contemporary Modernist and Asian style garden design. Its tight verticality fits into narrow planting spaces between walkways and walls, and on small balconies.

It is also used as an accent plant in garden ponds and ornamental pools, and other landscape water features, planted in submerged pots.

The plant is sometimes sold in the nursery trade as "barred horsetail" or "Equisetum japonicum", but is different in appearance than Equisetum ramosissimum var. Japonicum.

Invasiveness[edit]

The plant spreads very aggressively by underground runners, reaching under/past pavements and garden walls. Root barriers or large sunken planters ease containment in the garden.[3]

The plant is an invasive species of moist natural habitats in South Africa and Australia.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Lifeisagarden.co.za: "Invasive alien plants—Equisetum hyemale."
  2. ^ a b Jepson
  3. ^ a b c d Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Native Plant Database: Equisetum hyemale (scouring rush)
  4. ^ Webb, S.A., Parnell, J. and Doogue, D. 1996. Dundalgan Press (W. Tempest), Dundalk ISBN 0-85221-131-7
  5. ^ Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Native Plant Database: Equisetum hyemale (scouring rush)
  6. ^ Jepson Manual treatment for Equisetum hyemale subsp. affine
  7. ^ CalFlora Database: Equisetum hyemale subsp. affine
  8. ^ Johnson, Derek; Linda Kershaw; Andy Mackinnon; Jim Pojar (1995). Plants of the Western Boreal Forest and Aspen Parkland (Digitized online by Google books). Lone Pine Publishing and the Canadian Forest Service. p. 281. ISBN 1-55105-058-7. Retrieved 2009-01-25. 
  9. ^ Wilkinson, Kathleen (1999). Wildflowers of Alberta A Guideto Common Wildflowers and Other Herbaceous Plants. Edmonton Alberta: Lone Pine Publishing and University of Alberta. p. 34. ISBN 0-88864-298-9. 
  10. ^ Hunn, Eugene S. (1990). Nch'i-Wana, "The Big River": Mid-Columbia Indians and Their Land. University of Washington Press. p. 353. ISBN 0-295-97119-3. 
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