The horsetail (genus Equisitum), classified within the large FERN family has been around since the early days in the Paleozoic era. Although it offers a variety of benefits to humans, it is also considered a weed, even listed an obnoxious weed in several countries, it continuous to grows everywhere in the world.

I love this plant. And now I have a reason to show it in relation to saffron, the most expensive spice in the world. The Beauty and the Beast.


The crocus (Crocus sativus) is very sensitive. Like ferns, the crocus does not reproduce through flowers, even though it is a flowering plant. Reproduction needs human assistance, each corm, the bulb-like underground part of the plant, divides into cormlets that can grow into new plants, but have to be dug up. Each corm can grow up to four flowers, the better care given, the more flowers the longer the stigmas (saffron).

The corms however are susceptible to fungi that will destroy/’eat’ the corm, and fungi thrive in wetter conditions. I don’t know exactly how it works biologically, but my host mentioned she uses horsetail, planted in the crocus beds to control the fungi, in wetter periods. A perfect couple.

Some of my favorite artists who have interpreted the story of the Beauty and the Beast written by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont (1711-1780):

Jean Cocteau – film 1946

Philip Glass: opera triptych 1991-1996 – homage to Cocteau