According to the 18th century Swiss botanist von Haller, the Romans used water horsetail (Equisetum fluviatile) as a food plant. The author argues that this is a misinterpretation. There is no ethnobotanical evidence that water horsetail has been used for human consumption. However, the bulbs and shoots of the field horsetail (E. arvense) have been widely used as human nutriment. Faroese 19th century records show that it was eaten by people working the fields during the spring. From other
parts of Europe it is reported that it has been eaten mainly by children. E. arvense was used as a food plant also in North America and East Asia.
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