Giant Horsetails

The Saint Mary's College wetland has Equisetum giganteum or Equisetum variegateumThe horsetails are thriving in the wet silty soils of the former Lake La Salle site.  The horsetails sprout early in the season before the red willow tree canopy is established for the season. Students observe the growth of the horsetails in the Jan Term Wetlands course dependent on the weather. 


This photo was taken by the Student Plant ID team. It shows many horsetails sprouting and a few sedges filling the streambed (Jan term 2011).


The sprouting horsetails grow rapidly in early Spring. (Photo by S. Bachofer)

The horsetails have an extensive root structures.  The actual species is possibly Equisetum giganteum since in the middle of summer these plants reach a height of nearly 2 meters.

This photo was taken in June 2011 when the horsetails are approaching their maximum height.  The seasonal wetland was still rather damp and mid-summer rainstorms had occurred a few days before this visit. (Photo by S.Bachofer)