Outdoor Hour Challenge – Field Horsetail

Outdoor Hour Challenge Field Horsetail @handbookofnaturestudy

Outdoor Hour Challenge
Field Horsetail

Inside Preparation Work:

  • Read pages 706-709 (Lesson #196) in the Handbook of Nature Study.  Make sure to read the lesson information for the fertile and the sterile plants.
  • Look at this link for a distribution map to see if you have field horsetail in your are: USDA.  I also recommend this concise description and the clear images on this page: Field Horsetail.
  • Advanced study: Read about the uses of this plant: Field Horsetail—Herbal Uses. Please note I do not recommend eating any plants. I am sharing the link for information only.

Outdoor Hour Time:

  • During your outdoor time, look for the field horsetail which this time of year is very different than in the spring. Take note of any patches of field horsetail you find so you can look for its emergence in the spring along with the spores and green stems instead of leaves.
  • For this challenge, use the field horsetail to complete the lesson ideas for the “sterile plant” as found in the Handbook of Nature Study. This is the perfect time to study the plant’s sterile branches along with its roots if possible.
  • If you don’t have any field horsetail to observe, find another autumn weed to take note of along with its seeds. You can use this time to compare the way some plants use seeds to reproduce and some plants grow from the rootstock.

Follow-Up Activity:

  • Create a nature journal entry for the field horsetail or any other plant you found interesting. Make sure to include a short caption that explains how the field horsetail reproduces and is different than a seed bearing plant.
  • Advanced Study: Draw the complete life cycle of the field horsetail plant, labeling the plant’s parts and the time of year.


Handbook of Nature Study Ultimate Naturalist Library
If you want to purchase the Autumn Nature Study 2015 ebook so you can follow along with all the notebooking pages, coloring pages, and subject images, you can join the Ultimate or Journey Membership Levels. See the Join Us page for complete information. Also, you can view the Autumn Nature Study 2015 announcement page for more details.

Handbook of Nature Study Autumn Nature Study 2015 Cover Image



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