Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

 
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Jepson Interchange (more information)
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  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.

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]

EPHEDRA

EPHEDRA, MORMON TEA


Etymology: (Greek: Equisetum , for resemblance to those plants)

Native

E. trifurca S. Watson


Stem < 2 m; twig pale green when young, aging yellow to gray-green, rigid, tip thorn-like
Leaves generally 3 per node, 5–15 mm; tips ± spine-like; sheath fibrous, persistent, aging gray
Pollen cones 1–4 per node, 6–10 mm
Seed cones 10–14 mm, obovoid, sessile or short-stalked
Seed generally 1, sometimes 2–3, 9–15 mm, 4-angled, smooth, light brown
Ecology: Creosote-bush scrub
Elevation: < 2100 m.
Bioregional distribution: Sonoran Desert
Distribution outside California: to Texas, Mexico
Reportedly uniform, but plants in DMoj may be intermediate to E. funerea
Horticultural information: DRN, DRY, SUN: 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23.

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