Horsetail characteristics

What is a horsetail plant?

Equisetum arvense characteristics

Common noun: Horsetail, Bottle-brush, Shave-grass.

Scientific noun: Equisetum arvense L.

Family: Equisateaceae

Habitat: By the rivers. streams, borders of humid walls.

Characteristics of horsetail

A detail of the plant

They are very primitive plants that were related with ferns. About 50 species are known worldwide, most of them in the North hemisphere.

Picking-up and storing horsetail

Only sterile stems possess medicinal properties. They will be picked up during summer and, after drying them in the sun, they will be kept in some dry and clean hermetic recipient.

Botanical description of horsetail

Perennial rhizomatous plant of the Equisateceae family up to 60 cm. Pale brown, erect stems, hard and hollow, very rough to the touch, starting from very vigorous rhizomes. They appear before the fertile stems.

Fertile stems up to 30 cm, finished in a head (strobils) bearing the esporangiums, where from spores are dispersed.

Sterile stems higher than fertile ones, grooved, with very characteristic leaves (microphylls) that group in the verticils and whose borders are united one to the others.

Thinner stems that arise from the verticils and formed by a succession of appendixes becoming thinner progressively.

Composition: Active components of horsetail

  • Acids: ascorbic, ferulic, silicilic, malic, caffeic, gallic, pectic, tannic (Plant)
  • Campesterol (Plant)
  • Equisetrin (Plant)
  • Equisetonin (Plant)
  • Alkaloids: nicotine, palustrine. (Plant)
  • Amino acids: Niacin (Plant)
  • Fiber (plant)
  • Minerals: Magnesium, silicon, silica selenium, calcium, iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, aluminum, zinc, chrome, cobalt (Plant)

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This article was endorsed by Julián Masats - Technical agricultural engineer specialized in horticulture and gardening.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

1 December, 2021

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