The Gymnosperm Database


Pollen cones on Ephedra alata growing in Wadi Degla, Egypt (29.9386°N, 31.3665°E) [Moshira Hassan, 2008].

line drawing

A. Female branch. B. Female cone showing the membranous, winged bract. C. Male branch. D. Male cones showing microsporangia (Sherif and El-Taife 1986).


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Conservation status

Ephedra alata

Decaisne 1834

Common names

Taxonomic notes


"Dioecious, much branched, erect, not climbing shrub; branches rigid, yellowish-green, scabrous-glabrous. Leaves very short, united towards base, forming short sheath. Staminate cones terminal axillary, densely crowded, ovate, 3-8 mm long, with 3-6 long-stipitate or sessile microsporangia on a slightly exerted column. Ovulate cones pedunculate at nodes, oblong-ovate, up to 10 mm long, with 2 fertile flowers and 4-5 pairs of imbricated, yellowish bracts, with membranous and wavy, wing-like margin. Seeds ovoid, acuminate" (Sherif and El-Taife 1986).

Distribution and Ecology

N Africa, Sinai, Palestine, Kuwait, Arabia, Cyprus. The type is from N Africa (Sherif and El-Taife 1986).

Big tree






Decaisne, J. 1834. Annales des Sciences Naturelles, Botanique ser. 2, 2:239.

Sherif, A. S. and A. El-Taife. 1986. Flora of Libya. Al Faateh University Faculty of Science.

See also

Durand, E. A. and J. F. G. Barratte. 1910. Florae Libycae Prodromus, ou, Catalogue raisonné des plantes de Tripolitaine. Genève: Impr. Romet, Froreisen Successeur. 280.

Keith, H. G. 1965. A preliminary check-list of Libyan flora. Tripoli: Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform. 1:455.

Maire, R. 1952. Flore de l'Afrique Du Nord. Paris: Lechevalier. 1:151.

Last Modified 2017-12-29