"But the most remarkable
plant in the forest of Canelos is a
, 20 feet high, and the stem
nearly as thick as the wrist!...It extends for a distance
of a mile on a plain bordering the Pastasa, but elevated
some 200 feet above it, where at every few steps one
sinks over the knees in black, white, and red mud.
A wood of young larches may give you an idea of its appearance.
I have never seen anything which so much astonished
me. I could almost fancy myself in some primeval
Calamites , and if
some gigantic Saurian had suddenly appeared, crushing
its way among the succulent stems, my surprise could hardly
have been increased. I could find no fruit, so that
whether it be terminal, as in
, or radical, as in
, is still doubtful, and
for this reason I took no specimens at the time,
though I shall make a point of gathering it in
Thus wrote Richard Spruce 1 (from Notes of a Botanist on the Amazon and Andes , 1908), the celebrated English botanist and "perhaps the greatest botanical explorer of the nineteenth century" ( Moran, 2000 ) , describing his remarkable encounter with giant Equisetum in Ecuador.
If you have any additional information about giant horsetails, I would be most grateful if you could share it with me. I am especially interested in firsthand observations of these remarkable plants in the wild, in cultivation, or preserved in herbaria. If you have any observations, pictures, weblinks, or other information relating to these plants (wild or cultivated) and if you would be willing to share your knowledge, please contact me.
Also, if you have any suggestions or discover any errors in the information presented here, please let me know. My goal is to make this site as accurate and informative as possible.
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