From the Super Mario Wiki, the Mario encyclopedia
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Super Mario Bros. / Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels
According to the original manual for Super Mario Bros., Bowser turned the citizens of the Mushroom Kingdom into horsetail plants and bricks. However, the English manual renders this as "field horsehair plants". They are presumably the ovoid tree-like plants seen throughout the game (specifically, Worlds 2, 3, 5, 7, and 8), which come in two sizes, and depending on the level's palette, can be either green or white (in Super Mario All-Stars, the white ones' appearance is due to snow), with both having a tan segmented stem. These plants are also seen in Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels (specifically, the odd-numbered and -lettered worlds), where they are now segmented themselves and have eyes; additionally, the ones in World A-1 appear in orange (but not in All-Stars). They also appear in several other games borrowing graphics from or basing certain stages on Super Mario Bros. In Super Mario Maker, Horsetails occasionally pop up in the ground theme in the Super Mario Bros. style.
Paper Mario series
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door
In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, Horsetails are items that heal 3 HP. They are found in an area of Petal Meadows. Just before reaching the area with the bridge, coming from the Rogueport pipe, there is a Candy Cane that, when hit with a hammer, sinks down and bounces back up. After hitting the cane 10 times, a Horsetail comes out. This can be done several times, after exiting and re-entering the area.
Super Paper Mario
As part of the course's "retro" aesthetic, Horsetails appear in the final turn of Piranha Plant Slide in Mario Kart 7. They are replaced with standard trees in the course's reappearance in Mario Kart 8 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
Names in other languages