This native perennial plant has two types of annual stems. The fertile, unbranched, tan to brown stems up to 10 inch tall appear in April and May, soon dying back (A,B,D). They are hollow and jointed with black, toothed sheaths at the joints and spore-bearing cones at their tips. The green, 1-2 inch, sterile stems with their slender, whorled 3 or 4 angled branches arising at the joints appear in May and persist until frost (A,C).
Grows in moist soils usually along creeks and riverbanks. In Fontenelle forest, common on Stream Trail. At Neale Woods, uncommon on MRE Trail near the Missouri River.
Other common names include Bottlebrush, Horse or Snake-Pipes, Cat’s-tail, Jointgrass and Snakegrass.
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