Presented in Association with the Western New Mexico University Department
of Natural Sciences
Equisetaceae (Horsetail, Scouring Rush Family)
The Equisetaceae are ferns with a rushlike growth pattern and rhizomes. They have much reduced leaves which are united into a sheath with apical teeth. The stems are cylindrical, ridged and jointed and hollow. At the top of fertile stems resides a cone shaped reproductive zone. The spores are green except in hybrids (white) and have four appendages call elaters which coil and uncoil fast enough to make the spores seem to jump under the microscope.