The Gymnosperm Database

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A. Female branch. B. Female cone. C. Seed showing the coiled micropylar tube. D. Male branch. E. Male cones. F. Male flower (Sherif and El-Taife 1986).


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Conservation status

Ephedra altissima

Desfontaines 1799

Common names

Taxonomic notes


"Dioecious, climbing, much branched shrubs, about 2 m long; branches in whorls, greenish, scabrous. Leaves opposite or whorled, linear, slightly connate at base. Inflorescence paniculate terminal on short verticillate branches. Male cones in umbellate panicles, with 2-6 oval-shaped, obtuse, connate bracts; microsporangia 2-3, exerted. Female cones in lax panicle, pedunculate, solitary or clustered, with 2-3 pairs connate bracts, the outermost bracts short, c. 1/4-1/3 as long as the middle one. Seeds ovoid-oblong, terminating with coiled micropylar tube" (Sherif and El-Taife 1986).

Distribution and Ecology

N Africa (Sherif and El-Taife 1986).

Big tree






Desfontaines, R. L. 1799. Fl. Atl. 2, 2:372.

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

See also

Boivin, Rodolphe, Martine Richard, and Guy Bellemare. 1996. Phylogenetic Inferences from Chloroplast chlB Gene Sequences of Nephrolepis exaltata (Filicopsida), Ephedra altissima (Gnetopsida). and Diverse Land Plants. Molecular phylogenetics and evolution 6(1):19.

Keith, H. G. 1965. A preliminary check-list of Libyan flora. Tripoli: Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform. 1:456.

Maire, R. 1952. Flore de l'Afrique Du Nord. Paris: Lechevalier. 1:154.

Last Modified 2017-12-29