Gymnosperm Database
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Conservation status

Ephedra funerea

Coville et Morton 1935

Common names

Death Valley ephedra (Stevenson 1993), Death Valley jointfir (Jaeger 1969).

Taxonomic notes

Syn: Ephedra californica Watson var. funerea (Coville & Morton) Benson (Stevenson 1993).


"Shrubs erect, 0.25-1.5 m. Bark gray, slightly cracked and irregularly fissured. Branches alternate or whorled, rigid, angle of divergence about 60 . Twigs gray-green, becoming gray with age, glaucous, slightly scabrous, with numerous very fine longitudinal grooves; internodes 2-6 cm. Terminal buds conic, 1-4 mm, apex acute. Leaves in whorls of 3, 2-6 mm, connate to 2/3-3/4 their length; bases splitting at margins, persistent, forming black, thickened collar; apex acute. Pollen cones 1-3 at node, narrowly ellipsoid, 5-8 mm, on very short, scaly peduncles (rarely sessile); bracts in 6-9 whorls of 3, light yellow, ovate, 3-4 × 2-3 mm, membranous, base short-clawed; bracteoles equaling bracts; sporangiophores 3-5 mm, exserted to 1/3 their length, with 3-7 sessile to short-stalked microsporangia. Seed cones 1-3 at node, lance-obovoid, 8-15 mm, on short, scaly peduncles (rarely sessile); bracts in 6-9 whorls of 3, obovate, 4-8 × 3-5 mm, papery, yellow-translucent with green-yellow center and base, base broadly clawed, margins slightly dentate. Seeds 1(-3), ellipsoid, 6-10 × 2-4 mm, pale green to light brown, smooth to scabrous. ... Coning March-April" (Stevenson 1993).

Distribution and Ecology

USA: California & Nevada; Funeral Mountains area at 500-1500 m on sandy, dry soil and rocky scrub areas (Jaeger 1969, Stevenson 1993).

Big tree





"[O]f conservation concern" (Stevenson 1993).


See also

Last Modified 2012-11-23