Field horsetail

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Field horsetail

A bushy perennial with a large rhizomatous stem.
It forms deep roots making it very hard to irridiate.
In spring the Field horsetail forms sterile and fertile stems. .

The fertile stem

The fertile stem forms in fall from the rhizomes.
They stay underground during the winter. early in spring
the fertile stems get out of the ground. The top of these
stems are protected by unfolded leaves. Once above the ground
the brownish cone will appear (it is called a strobilus).

cross section of the fertile stem in spring, its mainly
made of spaces filled with fluid. there are no green cells.
The stem is covered with leaves that carry the spores.

the spores

The spores have a dread wind around them (A) In dry whether this
dread unfold (B). Because of this its easy for the wind to
blow these spores away. The dreads remain attached to the spores (D).
These dreads are called elateres.

Two generations.

The spores form the male antheridiae and the female archegonia.
.After fertilisation a small plnt forms, with a root and a small stem.
This is very like the way ferns reproduces.
But spores are not an important means of horsetail propagation,
they spread mostly by the use of there long and deep going rhizhomes.

A: the male antheridiae, and B:
The female arachnidiae.

The green stems or sterile stems emerge later at the
end of april above the ground,
They have the typical look of a miniature pine tree,
this foto was made at the beginning of may.

    control of Field Horsetail or scouring rush

    Field Horsetail is a terrible weed in youre garden,
    it is hard to remove, resistent against most of the pesticids
    and will always regrown because it has an extensive
    and deep rhizome system with deep laying rhizomes.
    Scouring rush can be found on acidic and wet soils.

    Use one or two of the following methods:

    1 Dig the rhizomes out maually or by using a machine.

    2 Cover the ground for two years with black folie.

    3 Use nitrogen containing fertilizer in youre garden:
    grasses and other crops respond quickly to fertilizer,
    but field horsetail almost not. This gives the grass or
    crop an advantage over the field horsetail because
    this weed is shade sensitive.

    4 Field horsetail is no match for corn, soybeans or
    small grains or Potatous, field horsetail is shadow sensitiv.

    5 There are just few herbicides that affect field horsetail
    in field crops.Herbicids containg MCPA gives a good result:
    Give it twice in a 1 liter per ha with an interval of
    one or two months.

    6 You can use a brush to add some herbicide manualy to each
    fertile stem you can find.

    A fertile stem at the start of April.


    A horstail can be found near water and is
    capable to live in very poor grounds.
    The concept of the horse tail has not
    changed for milions of years:

    field horsetail

    Water Horsetail

    Variegated Scouring Rush

    Rough Horsetail, Scouring Rush

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