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. viridis Coville

GREEN EPHEDRA


Stem < 1.5 m; twig bright green to yellow-green when young, aging yellow, tip not thorn-like
Leaves generally 2 per node, < 6 mm; bases thickened, persistent, brown
Pollen cones 2–5 per node, 5–7 mm
Seed cones 2–6 per node, 6–10 mm, obovoid, sessile or stalk < 5 mm
Seeds 2, 5–8 mm, 3-angled, smooth
Chromosomes: 2n=14
Ecology: Sagebrush scrub, creosote-bush scrub, pinyon/juniper woodland
Elevation: 900–2300 m.
Bioregional distribution: s Sierra Nevada Foothills, Tehachapi Mountain Area, San Joaquin Valley, South Coast Ranges, Western Transverse Ranges, Great Basin Floristic Province, Desert Mountains
Distribution outside California: to Colorado
Synonyms: E. nevadensis var. v. (Coville) M.E. Jones
Horticultural information: DRN, DRY, SUN: 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24.

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