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FLORA OF ICELAND elements: Equisetum pratense, shady horsetail

Equisetum pratense; The Shady Horsetail is the other common branched horsetail on Iceland. Like the field horsetail it grows in most regions of Iceland. Contrary to the field horsetail it does not grow much in disturbed areas but is to be found in scrubs and grasslands. The fertile leaves are at first pale and unbranched. The shady horsetail has horizontally side branches where in the field horsetail the side branches are pointed upwards. The terminal sporangial cone ripens in summer after which lateral stems form and the branch turns green. The Icelandic name is Vallelfting. For distinguishing characteristics of similar species, see card of the field horsetail A third similar species is Equisetum sylvaticum (wood horstail). This species is extremely rare and can be identified by its secondary ramnification of the side branches.

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A brief introduction to Iceland plants
Text & Photographs by Dick Vuijk - unless stated otherwise

Top part of shoot with rudiment spring left-over sporangial cone
Stem in rather dry vegetation
green shoot early summer with yet smaller side branches
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Top shoot with rudimental sporangial cone.
Stem in rather dry vegetation.
green shoot early summer.
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