Gymnosperm Database
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Conservation status

Ephedra nevadensis

Watson 1879

Common names

Nevada ephedra (Stevenson 1993), Nevada jointfir (Jaeger 1969).

Taxonomic notes

Syn: Ephedra antisyphilitica Watson 1871, not Berlandier ex Meyer 1846; E. antisyphilitica Watson var. pedunculata Watson; E. nevadensis subvar. paucibracteata Stapf (Stevenson 1993).


"Shrubs erect, 0.25-1.5 m. Bark gray, fissured. Branches alternate or whorled, rigid, angle of divergence about 45°. Twigs pale green, becoming yellow with age, not viscid, glaucous, with numerous longitudinal grooves; internodes 1-6 cm. Terminal buds conic, 1-3 mm, apex obtuse. Leaves opposite (rarely in whorls of 3), 2-4(-8) mm, connate to 1/2-3/4 their length; bases thickened, brown, completely deciduous; apex obtuse. Pollen cones 1-several at node, ellipsoid, 4-8 mm, sessile or on short peduncles with 2 pairs of basal bracts; bracts opposite, 5-9 pairs, yellow to light brown, obovate, 3-4 × 2-3 mm, membranous; bracteoles slightly exceeding bracts; sporangiophores 3-5 mm, exserted to 1/4-1/2 their length, with 6-9 sessile to short-stalked (less than 1 mm) microsporangia. Seed cones 1-several at node, nearly globose, 5-11 mm, on long peduncles, with 1-2 pairs of basal bracts; bracts opposite, 3-5 pairs, nearly circular, 4-8 × 3-6 mm, herbaceous, with light brown to yellow-green center, occasionally pinkish tinged, margins entire. Seeds (1-)2, ellipsoid, 6-9 × 2-4 mm, brown, smooth. 2n = 14, 28. ... Coning late winter-midspring" (Stevenson 1993).

Distribution and Ecology

US: Oregon, California, Arizona, Nevada & Utah in the Mojave and Colorado deserts at 700-1900 m on dry, rocky slopes and hills, rarely in sandy flat areas (Jaeger 1969, Stevenson 1993).

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Last Modified 2012-11-23