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Higher Taxonomy
Family: EphedraceaeView Description 

Habit: 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.
Genera In Family: 1 genus, +- 50 species: arid, semi-arid (to tropical) regions of northern Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, South America.
eFlora Treatment Author: Stefanie M. Ickert-Bond
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.

Stem: spreading to generally erect, 0.3--2(4.5) m; uppermost bud generally conic, generally not thorn-like.
Etymology: (Greek: sitting upon, from jointed stems and/or ancient name for Equisetum, also with jointed stems)
eFlora Treatment Author: Stefanie M. Ickert-Bond
Jepson Online Interchange
Key to Ephedra

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Citation for this treatment: Stefanie M. Ickert-Bond 2016. Ephedra, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 27, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 27, 2016.

Ephedra viridis
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© 2013 Neal Kramer
Ephedra sp.
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© 2009 California Academy of Sciences
Ephedra trifurca
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© 2005 James M. Andre
Ephedra californica
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© 2009 Neal Kramer
Ephedra viridis
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© 2008 Neal Kramer
Ephedra funerea
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© 1998 Larry Blakely

More photos of Ephedra in CalPhotos