The Gymnosperm Database


Ali and Qaiser (1987) provide a drawing.

Also, there's a photo at the Flora of China web site.


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Conservation status

Ephedra intermedia

Schrenk et Meyer ex C.A. Meyer 1846

Common names

中麻黄 zhong ma huang [Chinese] (Fu et al. 1999).

Taxonomic notes

Syn. (Fu et al. 1999):

Two varieties have been described, E. intermedia var. glauca (Regal) Stapf and E. intermedia var. tibetica Stapf. However, Ali and Qaiser (1987) find "no substantial difference" between the two, and Fu et al. (1999) state that the character states distinguishing the two may be observed together in a single population; thus the varieties are here reduced to synonymy.


Shrubs up to 1 m tall, densely branched, erect to spreading or sometimes with a creeping stem producing single, erect, green primary branches. Branchlets yellowish or bluish green, often pruinose, internodes usually 2-6 cm × 1.5-3.5 mm, straight or slightly bent. Leaves in whorls of 3 or opposite, connate for at least 2/3 their length. Pollen cones up to 8, whorled, usually clustered at nodes, often sessile; bracts in 3 or 4 pairs or whorls; anthers 5-8, sessile or shortly stipitate; staminate column slightly exserted. Seed cones ellipsoid, ovoid, or oblong-ovoid; bracts in 2-5 pairs or whorls, outer ones connate at base, apical pair or whorl connate for ca. 1/2 their length, margins membranous, globose, red, and fleshy at maturity; integument tube long, 3-5 mm, usually spirally twisted. Berry ovoid, red. Seeds 2 or 3, ovoid or elongate-ovoid, 5-6 × ca. 3 mm, brownish, concealed by bracts. Pollination May-Jun, seed maturity Jul-Aug. 2n = 14, 28 (Ali and Qaiser 1987, Fu et al. 1999).

Distribution and Ecology

Afghanistan; Kazakstan; Kyrgyzstan; Mongolia; Pakistan; Russia; Tajikistan; Turkmenistan; Uzbekistan; SW Asia; China: Gansu, Hebei, Liaoning, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Xinjiang, and Xizang. Found at (100-)800-4600 m elevation in grasslands, deserts, river valleys, floodplains, sandy beaches, cliffs, and other dry, sandy or rocky places (Fu et al. 1999).

Big tree




"This species has medicinal properties" (Fu et al. 1999).




Ali, S.I. and M. Qaiser (eds.). 1987. Flora of Pakistan.

Schrenk ex C. A. Meyer. 1846. Mém. Acad. Imp. Sci. Saint-Pétersbourg, sér. 6, Sci. Math., Seconde Pt. Sci. Nat. 5: 278 [Vers. Monogr. Gatt. Ephedra 88].

See also

Last Modified 2017-12-29