Horse tail is a wild plant that grows in the damp, wild area of the garden. It is also known as snake grass, scouring rush, bottle brush or puzzle grass. It is considered a a living fossil and a prehistoric plant.
The plant has no leaves or flowers so does not seed but propagates itself with spores and rhizomes. In early spring, about mid May, the leafless or fertile stems emerge and are light brown in colour. They reach about about one foot high with a cone of spores at the top. Soon after the spores are shed they die back. Then the next stage of the plant starts to grow.
When the thin green stems branch out from the main stem it is time to harvest the plant if you want it for medicinal purposes. I do not harvest the plant but just let it grow in the damp area of the garden.
By early June the plant has grown taller and started to spread a bit. It can reach between 2 and 4 feet tall.
For thousands of years horse tail has been used for its medicinal remedies. It contains silicon, saponins and antioxidant flavonoids and it is a source of potassium.
Two of my favourite herb books had some very good information on horse tail. If you don’t have access to books you can always do a search on the internet and find lots of info.
Be on the lookout for horse tail, perhaps it grows in a wet area of your property.