In search of flowers in the Northeast

Horsetail Family: Equisetaceae

This is an ancient family. It used to include many members and many grew into giant trees. Coal deposits are made primarily of the remains of ancient horsetails. Today, there is only one genus and 23 species. These are spore-producing plants, not flower-producing plants, with hollow, jointed, and abrasive stalks. The abrasive, silica-containing stalks are used by musicians to smooth reeds for woodwind instruments.

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