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.
Basically a northern hemisphere family of a single genus with c. 24 species. Equisetum debile is the sole species in Papuasia.
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)|
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 (email@example.com)