|Critter trails through scouring rush on Bull Creek|
Our species is Equisetum hyemale, a.k.a. scouring rush, so named because of the silica concentrations in its stem. Native Americans used it for polishing and settlers scoured pans with it. Modern day craftsmen still use it for fine polishing and clarinetists use it to polish their reeds. Like almost any living plant, some have touted Equisetum as a medicinal or a wild food although the descriptions of preparation could also probably be applied to serving sandpaper for supper. ASPCA sources describe its toxicity in horses. Fortunately, it is a survivor and is likely to outlast these few uses. It grows aggressively along the water and is considered an invasive species in South Africa and Australia.
|Jointed stems of Equisetum - John Hilty at Illinoiswildflowers.info|
|Multiple lateral cones - John Hilty|
|Spore-bearing cone - John Hilty|
|Mayfly hanging on Equisetum - Richard Bartz CC|