Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Variegated Horsetail Plant

Variegated horsetail (Equisetum variegatum) is a plant belonging to the horsetail family (Equisetaceae). The species is on the Dutch Red List of plants as very rare and greatly reduced. It is found in Northern Europe, Asia and North America. The plant has 2n = 216 chromosomes.

The plant is 10-40 cm high and has a bare root. In the remaining evergreen, 2-3 cm thick, smooth or slightly rough stems are ascending to erect with slightly inflated stengelscheden. The wreaths opposite leaves are small scales, where the leaf sheaths are mostly fused to a stalk sheath. The leaves are green at the base and the top black. The teeth are very wide witvliezig edged with a black center section. Among the teeth is a dark brown to black belt. The stem has 6-10 ribs. At the bottom nodes are few long branches, but sometimes they are missing. They are 2-3 cm thick and as long as the main stem. The center channel is narrow or almost absent. The stengelscheden are somewhat inflated.

From June until August detect spikes appear at the top of the main stem and sometimes in some branches, in the beginning almost entirely surrounded by the protruding teeth of the upper vagina. The egg-shaped ears are up to 10 mm in length and placed on a spine point. As the ears mature they dry and fall off thereafter. The spike consists sporangioforen. At the bottom of the shield-shaped sporangiofoor are three p.m. to eight p.m. trawl sporangiën which the traces are.

The tracks have chlorophyll and two jump wires (elateren), in the dry state to the spore are wrapped when they get wet they stretch and push the spores out of the ear. There are two types of tracks, male and female. The spores grow into bacteria for containing chlorophyll (prothallia). At this stage takes place after fertilization the ponytail into a complete plant can grow. The prothallia are bound by a very open habitat.

Variegated horsetail occurs on sunny, open, calcareous, free food poor areas, often in the winter flood. The plant is mainly found in dune valleys and pits.

Names in other languages:

• German: Bunter Schachtelhalm

• English: Variegated Horsetail, Variegated scouring-rush, Variegated scouringrush

• French: Prêle panachee


See also: International Flower Delivery, Florist

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