I'm located in Mumbai, India. A few of these weird things started growing in a pot. I though it was quite interesting, since it has no leaves. Is it a type of grass? I have bunched and planted four of them together in this pot. Each stem at the soil level is a single separate plant. The stem continues in the soil as a single long deep root with limited branching. I would greatly appreciate it if someone could help me identify it.

Close up picture of the plant in question

Long view of the plant in question

  • Might be horsetail (Equisetum), which isn't something you'd want, but bit too small to tell properly yet.
    – Bamboo
    Nov 2, 2015 at 12:05
  • @Bamboo Thanks for identifying it! I think you're right. Just read up on it. Going to follow your advice and remove it as well. If you can put it as an answer, I can mark it right and give you the credit! Cheers!
    – spinge
    Nov 2, 2015 at 14:51
  • as requested, done!
    – Bamboo
    Nov 2, 2015 at 19:11

2 Answers 2


What you have there is a whisk fern. Psilotum nudum. A very very ancient plant, somewhat similar to Equisetum. However, horsetail does not branch and has a pointy cone on top of each long pencil thin bamboo-like segmented stalk. These things, whisk fern, are living fossils, and once established are easy to care for. They spread by spores and will never develop leaves. They do not like to be transplanted and dislike too-wet soil. The tiny spores float all over the world and these things can show up anywhere. Its a cool little specimen and should last for years, enjoy!

  • Hi, i read up on both the species and you are definitely right. Unfortunately I already removed it thinking it was horsetail based on the earlier answer. :(
    – spinge
    May 30, 2016 at 17:55

I think it might be Equisetum, commonly known as Horsetail - its a bit small to be definite, but frankly, I wouldn't take the risk of growing it, I'd destroy it now, while you can! Unless you want to just grow one on, in a pot, and see if it develops into Horsetail...

  • I'm just curious why you'd advise destroying it. Thanks! Jul 13, 2016 at 16:42
  • @Sue Because I thought, incorrectly, it might be equisetum arvensis, a highly invasive weed that you never get rid of and spreads everywhere.
    – Bamboo
    Jul 13, 2016 at 18:54

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