Two of the spectacular new plants for the tropical glasshouse are the Giant Horsetail, Equisetum myriochaetum, and the Giant Elephant Fern, Angiopteris evecta. Today, a cardboard box labelled ‘Live Plants, Fragile’ marked the arrival from Edinburgh Botanic Garden of cuttings from these species.
- Angiopteris evecta and Equisetum myriochaetum in their packaging from Edinburgh Botanic Garden
Both grow best in a damp but free draining substrate so were potted in an orchid bark/Seramis mix.
Although traditionally treated as separate groups, the horsetails and the ferns, the use of DNA sequencing and phylogenetic analysis shows horsetails to be a specialist branch of the ferns. Both Equisetum and Angiopteris represent fairly early branches of the fern family tree, along with Psilotum which we already grow in profusion. Of the three, only Angiopteris looks like a conventional fern.