Transformational Gardening

Disclaimer: Foraging can be fun, rewarding and provide health benefits. As a novice forager, I will be sharing my foraging experiences. However, in order to be safe, always consult with local foraging experts and guidebooks before beginning foraging. Children should learn to forage safely by being guided by experienced adults. Never ingest anything unless you are certain of the identification and safety of the plant. Some plant species are inedible and some are poisonous.

Field Horsetail (Equisetum arvense): Images

Date Location Notes Images
April 28, 2012 Southeastern, New Hampshire Last year I made a horsetail tincture and later found out that horsetail should only be taken regularly after it is boiled to deactivate the thiamine (Vitamin B1)-destroying enzyme, thiaminase. Taken as a decoction, it is useful for inflammation and the silicon is an important mineral for healthy bones and tissues.

I was surprised that I have never found Field Horsetail in an actual field. I find it at the sides of dirt and gravel roads and trails. Some of the key distinguishing features are:
  • Whorls of branches coming off the main stem.
  • Length of the first internode of the branch is equal to or longer than the sheath on the stem immediately above the branches. (Click on the first picture in the second row of pictures to the right.)
  • The leaves at the end of each sheath on the main stem are mostly black and without a prominent white margin.
  • Diameter of the stem cavity is 25% or less than the diameter of the whole stem.
Date Location Notes Images
May 9, 2012 Southeastern, New Hampshire
  • Whorls of branches coming off the main stem.
  • Length of the first internode of the branch is equal to or longer than the sheath on the stem immediately above the branches. (Click on the first picture in the second row of pictures to the right.)
  • The leaves at the end of each sheath on the main stem are mostly black and without a prominent white margin.
  • Diameter of the stem cavity is 25% or less than the diameter of the whole stem.