laccopetalum giganteum

Equisetum giganteum

Equisetum giganteum is a species of horsetail native to South America and Central America, from central Chile east to Brazil and north to southern Mexico.

It is one of the largest horsetails, growing 2-5 m tall, exceeded only by the closely allied E. myriochaetum (which can achieve stem heights of 8 m, although such plants rely on surrounding herbage for support). The stems are the stoutest of any horsetail, 1-2 cm diameter (up to 3.5 cm diameter in some populations), and bear numerous whorls of very slender branches; these branches are not further branched, but some terminate in spore cones. Unlike some other horsetails, it does not have separate photosynthetic sterile and non-photosynthetic spore-bearing stems.

Populations from northern Chile with very stout stems up to 3.5 cm diameter have sometimes been treated as a separate species E. xylochaetum, but this is not widely regarded as distinct.


It is a popular ornamental plant in hot regions with a humid climate.

References and external links

  • Giant Horsetails
  • Lorenzi, H. & Souza, M. S. (2001). Plantas Ornamentais no Brasil: arbustivas, herbáceas e trepadeiras. Online ISBN 85-86714-12-7

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