Difference between Horsetail and Marestail

Horsetail

It is a fern-like plant that belongs to the family Equisetaceae. It is also known by its genus name as Equisetum. It reproduces by spores, and thus does not have seeds. Horsetail is a deep-rooted, perennial, herbaceous weed that is often confused with marestail. It has a hollow rhizomatous stem with greatly reduced leaves. The leaves are arranged in whorls and are fused to form nodal sheaths.

Horsetails are almost cosmopolitan in distribution. They are absent only in Antarctica. Most of them are edible and are also widely used as herbal remedies.

Marestail

Horseweed or marestail is a noxious weed that grows in drylands. Marestail is the common name for Conyza canadensis. It is a tall annual plant with slender and unstalked leaves. It is a flowering plant that produces seeds and dense inflorescence. It was the first reported weed to have developed resistance to glyphosate.

Difference between Horsetail and Marestail

Horsetail

Marestail

It is a perennial plant belonging to the genus Equisetum.

Marestail or Conyza canadensis is an annual plant.

It is a fern-like plant that reproduces through spores.

It is a flowering plant.

It is a non-flowering plant that does not produce seeds.

It is a flowering plant that produces seeds and inflorescence.

This weed can be managed by glyphosate.

This weed is glyphosate-resistant.

They are almost cosmopolitan in distribution. They are absent only in Antarctica.

They are native to North and Central America.

Frequently Asked Questions on Difference between Horsetail and Marestail

What are vascular plants?

They are plants with vascular tissues like phloem and xylem. They constitute a majority of the land plants. Vascular plants include ferns, horsetails, clubmosses, angiosperms and gymnosperms.

What are gymnosperms and angiosperms?

Gymnosperms are spermatophytes that have unenclosed seeds. This also includes conifers. Angiosperms are flowering plants that have enclosed seeds. Example – Marestail. Whereas, horsetails are primitive vascular plants that do not have seeds.

What are weeds?

Weeds are undesirable plants that obstruct the growth of desirable plants in a field or lawn. They affect the growth of other crops by uptaking their space and nutrients. These weeds do not have any botanical significance, and thus have to be removed. Example – Horsetail, Marestail.

Further Reading:

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