Fossil Equisetum, horsetail plant

Fossil Equisetum, horsetail plant

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Credit: DIRK WIERSMA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Equisetum, is the only living genus in the family of the Equisetaceae (class of Equisetopsida), vascular plants that reproduce by spores rather than seeds. They are popularly known as horsetails, snake grass or puzzle-grass. Equisetopsida were large trees that thrived in swampy areas and could grow as tall as 30 meters. They grew with whorls of needle-like branches radiating at regular intervals from a single, vertical stem that was segmented horizontally and vertically ribbed.Equisetum is a "living fossil" as it is the only living genus of the entire class of Equisetopsida, formerly widespread and much more diverse for over at least a hundred million years in the profuse forests of the later Palaeozoic era.

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Keywords: coloniser, equisetaceae, equisetopsida, equisetum, horsetail-plant, invasive plant, living fossil, palaeozoic puzzle-grass, persistant plant, puzzle grass, rhizome, snake grass, snake-grass, swamp

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