The Gymnosperm Database


Root and shoot (Harkevich and Kachura 1981).


Another illustration is available at the Flora of China website.


Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional

Conservation status

Ephedra monosperma

Gmelin ex C.A. Meyer 1846

Common names

单子麻黄 dan zi ma huang (Chinese) (Fu et al. 1999).

Taxonomic notes

Syn.: Ephedra minima Hao (Fu et al. 1999).


Small shrub (to 25 cm tall) often with long subterranean trunks or creeping runners; woody stems short, 1-5 cm, much branched, rigid, ascending, nodes knotted. Branchlets yellow-green, striate, ± spreading, 1 mm in diameter, sometimes ±curved, internodes 1-2(-3) cm × ca. 1 mm. Leaves opposite, 1.5-3.5 mm, connate for 1/3-2/3 their length, free part shortly triangular, apex blunt or pointed. Pollen cones 2 or 3, obovoid, sessile or subsessile at nodes, rarely solitary at apex of branchlets, 3-4 × 2-4 mm; bracts in 2 or 3(or 4?) pairs, connate for ca. 1/2 their length; staminal column ca. 2 mm, exserted, with 6-8 sessile anthers. Seed cones solitary or opposite at nodes, sessile or shortly pedunculate, ovoid to oblong-ovoid at maturity, 6-9 × 5-8 mm; bracts in 2 or 3 pairs, apical pair connate for ca. 1/2 their length, red and fleshy at maturity; integument tube 1.5-2 mm, twisted, curved, or straight often in same plant. Seeds 1-2 brown seeds 3.5-6 × 2.5-3 mm. Pollination in June, seeds mature in July or August (Harkevich and Kachura 1981, Ali and Qaiser 1987, Fu et al. 1999).

Distribution and Ecology

China: Gansu, Hebei, Nei Mongol, Qinghai, Shanxi, Sichuan, Xinjiang, Xizang; Kazakhstan; Mongolia; Pakistan (one collection in the Karakoram); Russia: southern Siberia, endangered in Ussuriland. In China at 1400-4800 m; in Russia to sea level. Usually found on sandy soils on river banks, on rocky slopes, or in dry places (Harkevich and Kachura 1981, Ali and Qaiser 1987, Fu et al. 1999).

Big tree







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

Gmelin ex C. A. Meyer. 1846. Mém. Acad. Imp. Sci. Saint-Pétersbourg, sér. 6, Sci. Math., Seconde Pt. Sci. Nat. 5: 279 [Vers. Monogr. Gatt. Ephedra 89].

Harkevich, S. and N. Kachura. 1981. Rare Plant Species of The Soviet Far East and Their Conservation. Nauka, Moscow (in Russian).

See also

Last Modified 2017-12-29