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The horsetail produces two different stalks. One is the fertile "joint-grass", the other is the sterile "horse-tail." The fertile stalk produces a cone-like structure at the top, which is covered with spore-producing scales. The spores are wrapped with small bands. These bands unwrap in dry weather to function as a parachute to carry the spores on the wind. Multiple spores frequently become entangled and travel together. The spores germinate into a thallus, cross-fertilize, then develop into a new plant. The word thallus is used to describe a plant part that is not differentiated into leaves or a stem.
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