Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

 
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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California
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EPHEDRACEAE

EPHEDRA FAMILY

James R. Griffin

Shrub or tree-like, densely branched, generally dioecious
Stem generally erect, < 2 m, jointed; node conspicuous, internode > leaf; bark with irregular, longitudinal cracks, generally gray; twigs whorled, grooved, greenish and photosynthetic when young, glaucous, glabrous to scabrous, sometimes thorn-like
Leaves 2–3 per node, not green; bases ± fused into sheath, thickening with age; tips often ± deciduous
Pollen cones 1–5 per node, generally short-stalked, generally spheric; bracts generally flexible, lower sterile, upper subtending 2–8 stamen-like structures
Seed cones generally 1–3 per node, sessile or stalk < 5 mm; bracts generally flexible, lower sterile, upper enclosing 1–3 seeds
Seed spheric to cylindric, smooth or furrowed, generally angled at top, generally brown
Genera in family: 1 genus, 42 species: North America, South America, Medit, Asia
Reference: [Cutler 1939 Ann Mo Bot Gar 26:373–424]
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