Ancient trees in my garden

This is the time of year that weeds are spotted and snarlingly eradicated. Before you lacerate the horsetail Equisetum plants just give it a little thought. Maybe even lie down on your lawn to look at them and imagine them twice the height of a house! Horsetails are the descendants of really ancient trees from over 100 million years ago. Many horsetails fell into swamps and became peat then coal. Their patterns can often be seen in coal today. (assuming you can track down a lump).

The spacing of the nodes on the stems of horsetails increase in frequency towards the top, which inspired Leibnitz to invent logarithms.

They are marvellous plants but to look at only. Crushed and prepared horsetails have been used for centuries as a medicinal herb for slimming, hair, skin and bone health but there’s no evidence they work. Just enjoy their historical provenance.

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz was a stupendously clever genius, a natural observer able to link natural phenomenon, such as the nodes on Horsetails to potential mathematical applications. From his logarithms followed other mathematics to create calculus. Leibniz was also so clever his first name was called after mine.(I was born Godfrey, which in German is Gottfried, only mother and my landlady in Sheffield called be Godfrey!)


Other Nelder NewsPersonal Best anthology in which is my Don’t Bite my Finger… short monk punk story.
Also published was ALIEN EXIT a science fiction first-contact novel as an ebook only

Revised Xaghra’s Revenge now retitled as Vengeance Island

Escaping Reality – humorous thriller •
Hot Air – thriller set in Mallorca •
ARIA: Left Luggage – infectious amnesia scifi  •
ARIA: Returning Left Luggage •
ARIA: Abandon Luggage •
Incremental – 25 surreal short stories •
Suppose We -science fiction space exploration •
The Chaos of Mokii   ebook at
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1 Comment

  1. janet rooke

    Oh Geoff, don’t encourage people to get Horse tails. I am not sure whether the maginal aquatic ones can move to the land, but the common British variety is the most terrible weed! I used to have it all over my garden at Plumstead. Roots go to OZ! practically indestructible. It has a weird flower pops out of the ground in Feb, which I think might shoot out spores rather than seeds. Not sure. It is of course very ancient, a bit older by a million years or so than your trees! Will put a picture of my trees on facebook. I couldn’t find the pictures of yours. Cheers Gillian


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