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Equisetaceae

Reed-like herbs along margins or rivers or swamps, with creeping underground stems, aerial stems erect, sometimes with branching at the nodes, sometimes with a whorl of smaller branches, longitudinally grooved, articulate, with a sheath at each node, the internodes green and rough to the touch, hollow, leaves reduced to a single whorl of minute, +/- deciduous teeth on the rim of the sheath at each node. Sporangia borne on the backs of stalked, peltate sporangiophores, arranged in a compact terminal cone; spores rounded, green, with 4 coiled bands.

Distribution

Basically a northern hemisphere family of a single genus with c. 24 species. Equisetum debile is the sole species in Papuasia.

Literature

Croft, J.R. 1985. Equisetaceae. In Leach, G.J. & Osborne, P.L., Fresh water plants of Papua New Guinea. Univ. P.N.G., Port Moresby. pp. 41-43.

Hauke, R.L. 1961-1962. A taxonomic reorganization of Equisetum, subgenus Hippochaete, I-IV. Amer. Fern J. 51: 131 - 137; 52: 29 - 35, 57 - 63, 123 - 130.

Hauke, R.L. 1963. A taxonomic monograph of the genus Equisetum subgenus Hippochaete. Bieh. Nova Hedwigia 8: 1 - 123.

Page, C.N. 1972. An assessment of inter-specific relationships in Equisetum. New Phytol. 71: 355 - 369, f. 1 - 2, pl. 1 - 4.

Genera in Australia and Papuasia

A family of a single genus ... Equisetum (1)

Note

Some authors prefer to divide the genus, in which case the Papuasian representative is referred to the genus Hippochaete.


Updated November 1999 by Jim Croft (jim.croft@environment.gov.au)