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..."the only genus[edit]

in the family Equisetaceae, in the order Equisetales, in the class Equisetopsida, sometimes placed in its own division, Equisetophyta, or in the division Tracheophyta or Archeophyta."

Have I understood this right? Is this the only genus in the order, class and (possibly) division? If so, all 3 of those levels should be bolded in the taxobox and the opening para, and we should have redirects from all 3 of them, because this is the defining page for them all. But although I have contributed to this page, I don't know enough about this plant to risk doing that - I only got involved with the page because I was doing one about Hippuris and ran into the ambiguity. Could someone who knows more about it make these changes if appropriate? thanks.

seglea 05:31, 4 Mar 2004 (UTC)

No, you're absolutely correct in terms of living plants. There are other classes and orders, but they're only fossils. jaknouse 16:05, 4 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Thanks. I've now adjusted to treat this page as defining for the family and order, but left open the class and division, since we might some time acquire pages on fossil members. seglea 16:59, 4 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Regarding Tracheophyta--this is a group that's a bit ambiguous with regards to whether you want to call it a division or whatnot. Basically, it's somewhere between division and kingdom and includes all vascular plants. Equisetopsida has always been a tracheophyte, but different people vary in whether they give Equisetopsida its own division, lump it into Pteridophyta, etc., and in what hierarchical level they want to call the tracheophytes. I've changed things slightly to reflect this. Paalexan 22:44, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

Equisetum japonicum[edit]

I'v got Equisetum japonicum in my pond, but it isn't mentioned here as a species. Is this really an existing species or not? Tbc2 19:54, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

Checked up - it is usually treated as a synonym of Equisetum hyemale - MPF 10:50, 17 November 2005 (UTC)


Flora de Chile considers E.giganteum and E xylochateum the same taxon. --Penarc 18:16, 13 April 2007 (UTC)--Penarc 01:52, 21 April 2007 (UTC)


Between the Equisetum page and the Vascular Plant page ( ), Equisetum is listed under Pteridophyta and Equisetophyta respectively. As I am a new member (for I only registered to query this) I am unsure how to change this. If anyone has the research to back up one or the other division, could he or she edit the discrepancy? Thanks.

Antsponge 03:15, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

  • There is recent speculation that Equisetum actually belongs in the Pteridophyta division. I am unsure how do deal with this situation as well. Snafflekid 20:32, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Digging around, as of 2006 there is a proposal for new classification of ferns [1], which is keeping the placement in flux. Snafflekid 21:12, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

Puzzlegrass synonym?[edit]

When I was growing up in Iowa there was a plant that looked like this called puzzlegrass since you can take apart the sections and put them back together. Does anyone know if horsetail and puzzlegrass Are synonyms? If they are shouldn't there be a mention in the etymology section. (talk) 02:05, 16 August 2010 (UTC)


I found this page after trying to locate "shave grass" or "shavegrass." Apparently this is a name used for this plant, particularly when used medicinally. Perhaps a redirect is in order? (talk) 16:59, 24 October 2011 (UTC)

John Napier and horsetails?[edit]

"It has been suggested that the pattern of spacing of nodes in horsetails, wherein those toward the apex of the shoot are increasingly close together, inspired John Napier to discover logarithms.[4]"

I was unable to view the source without a subscription, but I don't believe this claim belongs in this article. It is only a suggestion - a musing - and one that can't possibly be substantiated without reference to documents from Napier's time.

 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:27, 20 August 2012 (UTC) 

Source Combination Confusion[edit]

Under the Medicinal Uses division, "The European Food Safety Authority issued a report assessing its medicinal uses in 2009.[25] Equisetum telmateia may be a useful source of antioxidants.[26]" The sources of these two statements contradict their usage here.

The report in source [25] does not state that antioxidant ability was confirmed or even investigated. The only reference to the word "antioxidant" in that report was an example of how it can be used in an ambiguous way. The study referenced in that report, indicating rat brain cell cultures in a petri dish produced compounds (that I'm assuming are the foundation of the antioxidant claim), only did so when purified extract was dripped directly on the braincell culture and then incubated in said petri dish. This is hardly the kind of evidence of antioxidant activity that a typical human would have value in; it implies the owner of the brain cells will not receive an advantage from the antioxidant effect.

Source [26] is a study that was not related to the EFSA in source [25]. It is also an example of the ambiguous claims the EFSA in source [25] disputes by the way it performs a pH buffer test and makes the ambiguous claims that it "could be" a source of antioxidants. The test, as described, would also claim that Rolaids antacid tablets "could be a useful source of antioxidants with huge scavenging ability".

To summarize my ramble, placing the sourced statement "...may be a useful source of..." right after a sourced statement of "...Authority issued a report assessing it's medical uses...", is exactly what the EFSA says is an invalid health claim. Source 25 says that source 26 is invalid for use as a health benefit claim, but the wording is arranged in this article in a way that creates an illusion that 25 is backing 26's claim.

In source 25 the EFSA "...concludes that a cause and effect relationship has not been established..." in every claim that they investigated with this plant.

Now, I arrived here after finding this plant in my yard and was hopeful that it would have some kind of use. I have no intention of poo-pooing something I have that I may benefit from. When I checked the sources, however, I found that the one medicinal claim in the article was wrong, sourced, and misleading. I'm not sure how it happened, or how to rewrite it to Wikipedia standards, but I request some attention to the issue since this plant is also historically known as harmful to some people and animals. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:56, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

I hope the most recent edits have addressed your concerns. Novickas (talk) 13:47, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

That looks irreproachable in its current configuration. Thank you. When following the sources now, it points out a need for research into the plants traditional health uses instead of knocking down contemporary sales pitches. (talk) 10:56, 12 October 2013 (UTC)

E. debile[edit]

What is the position of E. debile ? If you google it, you'll find a lot of entries, mostly from eastern Indian Ocean areas. However, the article doesnt mentioned it. Can any expert here explain ? Thank you. Kembangraps (talk) 00:26, 5 September 2014 (UTC)

It's treated as a subspecies of E. ramosissimum, i.e. E. ramosissimum subsp. debile. I've added it as a synonym of E. ramosissium in the list. However, the articles on the species don't match the taxonomy in this genus article, since E. ramosissimum redirects to E. giganteum which this article gives as a separate species, as do recent reliable sources (e.g. this one). Peter coxhead (talk) 15:17, 5 September 2014 (UTC)

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