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Fife, United Kingdom Gb

I have seen a plant that looks like a bamboo. It has black stripes around it. can anyone give me a name for it?



We need a photo really. There is a good chance that if it looks like Bamboo, then it probably is and there are indeed several with blackish marks on the stem.

Have a look here (copy and paste into your browser):

click the coloured stems box in characteristics and look at the list it produces.

20 Jul, 2010


Probably Equisetum. Have a look at my picks to confirm if it is what you have seen.
I know when people see it in my garden they think it is bamboo.
It is actually a grass, as old as the dinosaurs. It will eventually spread but ok if kept under control or in a pot.
I always pot up the runners and sell on.

20 Jul, 2010


Although it's guesswork without a pic I suspect that Treesandthings may well be right with his suggestion of one of the larger species of Equisetum, probably E. hyemale.....

......although I should point out that Equisetum are not grasses (they are actually more closely related to ferns) but are the only living survivors of a previously huge and very important class of primitive vascular plants that, as Trees says, dates back to the mid-Devonian period, 350 million years ago.

Bamboos, on the other hand, are grasses :-)

20 Jul, 2010


Yes, it could well an Equisetum and that particular species would be a good candidate. One of my photo's has it with sunlight shining through the stems. I was always impressed with the specimen of an even larger species, E. giganteum at Edinburgh Botanic gardens in one of their greenhouses. A good 10-12ft in height.

Referring to their ancient lineage, I read an interesting article about some of the huge arborescent types that were primary in forming the coal seams around the world. It now appears that they had a large creeping underground rhizome and periodically sent up stems from it reaching 30m or more.

20 Jul, 2010


here it is:

20 Jul, 2010


That's a really lovely shot Fractal.....Equisetum forests are a mind-boggling idea aren't they! I've never seen E. giganteum in the "flesh" I don't think...great plants one and all though....

20 Jul, 2010

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