The Horsetail Family

This family consists of over 55 genera with about 500 species. Most of the plants are herbaceous perennial, evergreen monocots. They are primarily native to the Southern Hemisphere coming from areas in Southern Africa, New Zealand and China. Plants in this family are thought to have been around for more than 65 million years.

Cape Horsetail

Note on Taxonomy - Plant taxonomy is the art and science of classifying plants into groupings in order to help people make sense of the huge diversity found in the world. The people who do this for a living are called taxonomists. They are continually evaluating and re-evaluating how plants are classified. For example, with the recent emergence of DNA analysis, many plants have been changing classification.

Also, there is no one, single universal classification system for plants. Rather, there is a lot of debate among taxonomists which may lead to confusion for the average gardener. That is why, in these family listings, you often see the words "about" or "around" when counting the number of genera or species to include. It is also why new families are created and some of the old ones suddenly fade away. So, don't be surprised if you find slightly different information at other sites or sources. Oh, well.


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