Field Horsetail

Equisetum arvense

Field horsetail is a prehistoric plant mostly known in Japan and among Native American cultures from way back as a food and medicinal plant. Known in Japan as tsukushi, it is valued there as an edible wild vegetable (山菜 sansai) and viewed as the sign of spring approaching. The succulent spring shoots of field horsetail are available only for a short time until they go through a true transformation and turn into green stalks, reminiscent of tiny conifers and are then mainly used for medicinal purposes. The fresh shoots, simmered gently in soy sauce and mirin, can be eaten as a side-dish with rice or buckwheat.