The Gymnosperm Database


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Conservation status

Ephedra cutleri

Peebles 1940

Common names

Navajo ephedra (Stevenson 1993), Mormon tea (Weber 1987).

Taxonomic notes

Syn:Ephedra coryiReed var.viscidaCutler;E. viridisCoville var.viscida(Cutler) Benson. "The hybridEphedra × arenicolais discussed under E. torreyana" (Stevenson 1993).


"Shrubs rhizomatous, forming clumps, erect, 0.25-1.5 m, 3-5 m diam. Barkreddish brown, cracked and irregularly fissured. Branches alternate or whorled,rigid, angle of divergence about 25°. Twigs bright green, becomingyellow-green with age, viscid, ridges between longitudinal grooves papillate;internodes 1-5 cm. Terminal buds conic, 1-3 mm. Leaves opposite, 2-5 mm,connate to 1/4-1/2 their length; bases thickened, brown, persistent; apexsetaceous. Pollen cones 2-several at node, obovoid, 4-6 mm, on very short,scaly peduncles (rarely sessile); bracts opposite, 5-9 pairs, light yellow,ovate, 2-4 × 2-3 mm, membranous, slightly connate at base; bracteolesslightly exceeding bracts; sporangiophores 2-4 mm, barely exserted, with 5-7sessile to short-stalked (less than 1 mm) microsporangia. Seed cones 2-severalat node, obovoid to nearly globose, 7-15 mm, peduncles 5-25 mm, with 1 pair ofbasal and 1 pair of nearly terminal bracts; bracts opposite, 3 or 4 pairs,ovate, 3-6 × 2-5 mm, membranous, with yellow center and base, marginsentire. Seeds 2, ellipsoid, 5-8 × 2-4 mm, brown to chestnut, smooth. ...Coning late winter-midspring (Mar-May)" (Stevenson 1993).

Distribution and Ecology

US: Arizona, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico at 1400-2300 m on dry, flat, sandy areas, occasionally on rocky slopes (Stevenson 1993).

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See also

Last Modified 2017-12-29