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Uses

Toxic parts

Large quantities of the plant can be toxic. This is because it contains the enzyme thiaminase[1], a substance that can rob the body of the vitamin B complex[2]. In small quantities this enzyme will do no harm to people eating an adequate diet that is rich in vitamin B, though large quantities can cause severe health problems. The enzyme is destroyed by heat or thorough drying, so cooking the plant will remove the thiaminase[1]. The plant also contains equisetic acid - see the notes on medicinal uses for more information[3].

Edible uses

Notes

Strobil (the fertile shoots in spring) - cooked[4][5][6]. Used as an asparagus substitute, though it is neither palatable nor nutritious[5]. Caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. Roots - cooked[5][6][7]. The roots contain a nutritious starch[4]. Caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.

Material uses

There are no material uses listed for Equisetum fluviatile.

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Horsetails have an unusual chemistry compared to most other plants[8]. They are rich in silica, contain several alkaloids (including nicotine) and various minerals[8]. The plant is styptic[9]. The barren stems are used, they are most active when fresh but can also be dried and sometimes the ashes of the plant are used[5]. A decoction applied externally will stop the bleeding of wounds and promote healing[5].

Unknown part

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Spores - best collected as soon as they are ripe in the spring and surface-sown immediately on a sterile compost. Keep moist and pot up as soon as the plants are large enough to handle. Very difficult[10]. Division. The plants usually spread very freely when well sited and should not really need any assistance.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Equisetum fluviatile. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Prefers a moist soil with a pH between 6.5 and 7.5[10].

Plants are hardy to about -30°c[10].

Plants have a deep and penetrating root system and can be invasive. If grown in the garden they are best kept in bounds by planting them in a large container which can be sunk into the ground[10].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Equisetum fluviatile. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Equisetum fluviatile.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Equisetum fluviatile
Genus
Equisetum
Family
Equisetaceae
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
2
Heat Zone
?
Water
aquatic
Sun
full sun
Shade
light shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    ?
    Herbaceous or Woody
    ?
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    ?
    Mature Size
    Fertility
    ?
    Pollinators
    ?
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type

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    "image:Eq fluviatile kz2.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Eq fluviatile kz2.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.


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    "image:Eq fluviatile kz2.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

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    References

    1. ? 1.01.1 Schofield. J. J. Discovering Wild Plants - Alaska, W. Canada and the Northwest. ()
    2. ? Frohne. D. and Pf?nder. J. A Colour Atlas of Poisonous Plants. Wolfe ISBN 0723408394 (1984-00-00)
    3. ? Weiner. M. A. Earth Medicine, Earth Food. Ballantine Books ISBN 0-449-90589-6 (1980-00-00)
    4. ? 4.04.14.2 Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-20459-6 (1972-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.15.25.35.45.55.6 Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
    6. ? 6.06.16.2 Harrington. H. D. Edible Native Plants of the Rocky Mountains. University of New Mexico Press ISBN 0-8623-0343-9 (1967-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.1 Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World. Keigaku Publishing (1976-00-00)
    8. ? 8.08.18.2 Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
    9. ? 9.09.1 Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
    10. ? 10.010.110.210.3 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    11. ? Clapham, Tootin and Warburg. Flora of the British Isles. Cambridge University Press (1962-00-00)

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