Horsetail dates back 290 – 354 million years. In spring, fertile, cone-like structures appear; after fertilisation they wither and the green feathery stems emerge. A horsetail stem is made up of segments, between which are whorls of 6-19 branches.
From the Middle Ages till the 18th century it was used for scouring pots and pans, especially pewter.
It is rich in silicon, potassium and calcium. A home-made liquid fertiliser, to make a plant more resistant to illnesses, can be made by steeping the branches in water for 3 weeks, then diluting 1 part of the liquid to 10 parts water.
Scales leaves resemble green scales e.g. Cupressus, Juniperus. Reduced to brownish, papery, serrated sheaths around the node.
Strobilus: a cone-like structure, 1- 4 cm long.
Stems: dried ‘sterile’ stems used to treat genito-urinary problems, controls both internal and external bleeding.