Horse Tail, while native to almost every US state, is, for nostalgic reasons, my Montana pick. As kids, my sister, cousins, and I spent a lot of time on my grandparents Central Montana ranch. A train line ran through the property and we liked to walk it looking for old metal nails and clips and things from the railroad that my grandma convinced us were valuable. We would walk and talk until we couldn’t any more — turning back when we reached the very large tressle. (which I now realize as an adult is shockingly far from from the house — many many miles — oh times are different now!)
It was very ‘stand by me’. As we went, we would pick the horsetail grass and mindlessly disassemble it piece by piece. I think this plant is great for conversation.
Equisetum has an interesting history. It is the single surviving genus of a class of primitive vascular plants that dates back to the mid-Devonian period (350 + million years ago). Impressive. And early Americans used the stems (which have a high silica content) to polish pots and pans. Hence the common name of scouring rush. Interesting.
So now they are all trendy and chic and look great in pared down modern gardens or Japanese styled settings. The vertical, jointed stems are reminiscent of leafless bamboo. They are evergreen and very hardy and therefore perfect for year-round containers. When dealing with restricted areas of as little as a few inches, they are a great option. But to me, they are a sentimental favorite.
1. A place called home #1, 2. fräken, 3. Equisetum hyemale – Scouringrush horsetail – Skavfräken, 4. Rough Horsetail — strobilus, 5. Common Horsetail / 砥草, 6. Green Rush, 7. equisetum hyemale, 8. Equisetum hyemale ‘Rough-Horsetail/Common Scouring Rush’, 9. horsetail / Equisetum hyemale L. / 砥草(トクサ)