Scouring Rush is a primitive species that can be found throughout the world. Members of its family are commonly known as “Horsetail.”
It is easily recognized by its slender, jointed stems, which remind me of bamboo. This plant’s stems are vertically ridged and round in cross-section.
“Back in the day” the stems, which have a high silica content, were used to smooth items made of wood and scour pots and pans. Since they are hollow, they were also used as straws.
The “leaves” of Scouring Rush are fused together forming ashy grey, papery bands at the joints of the plant’s stems.
Its favored habitat includes moist sites such as stream banks, flood plains and wetlands from lowland to mid-elevations.
The Horsetails are related to the ferns and do not produce flowers, fruit or seeds. They reproduce by spores which are produced in a cone-like structure on the tips of the stems.
This “old school” plant is the single surviving genus of a class of prehistoric plants that dates back to over 350 million years ago.