|Podophyllum 'Spotty Dotty' & Equisetum - 20 May 2022|
Podophyllum: Genus name comes from the Greek words pous or podos meaning a foot and phyllon meaning a leaf with reference to the shape of the leaf in the American species P. peltatum.
Equisetum (/ˌɛkwɪˈsiːtəm/; horsetail, snake grass, puzzlegrass) is the only living genus in Equisetaceae, a family of ferns, which reproduce by spores rather than seeds.
Equisetum is a "living fossil", the only living genus of the entire subclass Equisetidae, which for over 100 million years was much more diverse and dominated the understorey of late Paleozoic forests. Some equisetids were large trees reaching to 30 m (98 ft) tall. The genus Calamites of the family Calamitaceae, for example, is abundant in coal deposits from the Carboniferous period. The pattern of spacing of nodes in horsetails, wherein those toward the apex of the shoot are increasingly close together, is said to have inspired John Napier to invent logarithms. Modern horsetails first appeared during the Jurassic period.
My Rosemary did not abide having any Equisetum (horsetail) in the garden as it is a terrible weed that spreads quickly. Rosemary used to love the tidy back lanes of our Kerrisdale home and was unhappy in our Kits home because the back lane is far from tidy. She would have me weed-eat the weeds in our adjoining neighbours’ garages.
Today I spotted a horsetail in our garden and I pulled it out. Then I was struck that its colours resembled one of Rosemary’s fave Podophyllum which now (because it is mature) has leaves that are the size of dinner plates. I cut the smallest leaf for the scan here.
I wrote here how Vancouver noted clarinetist Gene Ramsbottom explained to me the significance of horsetail to clarinets and oboes.
Scanning the plants in my garden is a pleasant pasatiempo which translates badly to hobby. It literally means something that makes time pass. It is one of the distractions of my day in the growing season. I am comfortable sitting at my computer and next to the scanner and arranging my plants. I now know that few of the people I know have any interest in my scanographs or that I am now a part-time scanographer.
What is important is that I have fun doing this.