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This strange thing on this picture is the sporophyte (i.e. the spore producing part) of a field horsetail (Equisetum arvense).

It is a plant, whose ancestors once were numerous and tall. Nowadays still 25 species are left over worldwide -the last abating of this once large group of plants. And even those 25 nearly haven't changed over the last 300 million years.

The species on the picture grows with a rhizome deep in the earth and so is nearly unrootable and an awful weed on fields and in gardens. I took the picture in april 2000 on a meadow on a Rhine dam near Bonn-Beuel (germany).

Homepage(2)     Plants(index) by Michael Becker, 2/2002. Last modification: 2/2002.