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Stefanie M. Ickert-Bond

Shrub; generally dioecious; taproot deep. Stem: erect, prostrate, occasionally climbing, jointed, much branched, green in youth; branchlets opposite or whorled, cylindric, longitudinally grooved; pith brown or white. Leaf: simple, 2 (each pair at right angles to adjacent pairs) or 3 per node, scale-like, ± fused at base into membranous sheath, generally ephemeral; resin canals 0. Cone: axillary (terminal), sessile or not, 1–many per node, ovoid or ellipsoid. Pollen cone: bracts 2–3 per node, proximal sterile, distal subtending 2 basally fused bractlets subtending a stalk with 2–10(15) sessile to stalked, anther-like parts with 2 apical pores. Seed cone: stalk 1–11(50) mm, generally straight, naked or with reduced basal bracts; distal bracts in (2)4–10 pairs or whorls, free or fused, brown or green, scarious or fleshy, subtending 2 fused leathery bractlets enclosing 1 ovule. Seed: 1–3(4) per cone (in ×-section, ± round if 1, ± semicircular if 2, ± triangular if 3, etc.), ± spheric to ellipsoid or lance-ovoid, beaked or not.
1 genus, ± 50 species: arid, semi-arid (to tropical) regions of northern Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, South America. [Ickert-Bond 2003 Ph.D. Dissertation Arizona State Univ] —Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Unabridged references: [Cutler 1939 Ann Missouri Bot Gard 57:373–428; Ickert-Bond 2003. Systematics of New World Ephedra L. (Ephedraceae): Integrating morphological and molecular data. Ph.D. Dissertation, Arizona State Univ, Tempe, Arizona, 363 pp; Stapf, O. 1889. Die Arten der Gattung Ephedra. Denkschrift der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Klasse 56:1–112]

Stem: spreading to generally erect, 0.3–2(4.5) m; uppermost bud generally conic, generally not thorn-like. (Greek: sitting upon, from jointed stems and/or ancient name for Equisetum, also with jointed stems)

Key to Ephedra

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 26 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Ephedra, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 26 2015

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