Mar. 24, 2017

swamp horsetail, Equisetum palustre

Horsetails are not flowering plants. They can be beautiful and interesting none the less. This one caught my eye on an early morning outing at Ives Fen. I can't remember when I first learned about horsetails. It was either at coal mine shale dumps, looking at fossils. Or in the cub scouts, when we were taught to scour our pans with their tough stems. Horsetails are an important part of the flora at the preserve. Both in the fen itself, and in the gravel pit area, where they are a critical part of the early return of nature. This species grows in wet areas in AK, CA, CT(S), HI, ID, IL, MA, ME, MI, MN, MT, ND, NH(T), NJ, NY(T), OR, SD, UT, VT(T), WA, WI, throughout Canada, and on SPM. Ives Fen Preserve, Lenawee Co MI, 6/13/15