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Ephedra altissima - Desf.

Common Name High-climbing jointfir
Family Ephedraceae
USDA hardiness Coming soon
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Not known
Range S. Europe - Mediterranean.
Edibility Rating    (1 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care (info)
Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Ephedra altissima High-climbing jointfir


http://flickr.com/photos/43501803%40N00/
Ephedra altissima High-climbing jointfir

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 
Ephedra altissima is an evergreen Shrub. It is in leaf all year. The species is dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required). . The plant is not self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Plant Habitats

 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit
Edible Uses:

Fruit[177]. No more details are given.

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


The stems of most members of this genus contain the alkaloid ephedrine and are valuable in the treatment of asthma and many other complaints of the respiratory system[K]. The whole plant can be used at much lower concentrations than the isolated constituents - unlike using the isolated ephedrine, using the whole plant rarely gives rise to side-effects[254]. Ephedra does not cure asthma but in many cases it is very effective in treating the symptoms and thus making life somewhat easier for the sufferer. The stems can be used fresh or dried and are usually made into a tea, though they can also be eaten raw[K]. The young stems are best if eating them raw, though older stems can be used if a tea is made[K]. The stems can be harvested at any time of the year and are dried for later use[238].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

None known

Special Uses

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Requires a well-drained loamy soil and a sunny position[11]. Plants are drought resistant once established and are also lime tolerant[200]. A plant is growing at Hilliers Arboretum in Hampshire. It has been there for many years so can be considered fully hardy. It is growing in the shade of Pinus mugo and seems to be thriving[K]. Dioecious, male and female plants must be grown in fruit and seed are required.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees,Edible Shrubs, Woodland Gardening, and Temperate Food Forest Plants. Our new book is Food Forest Plants For Hotter Conditions (Tropical and Sub-Tropical).

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Plant Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a greenhouse[200]. It can also be sown in spring in a greenhouse in a sandy compost[K]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow them on for at least their first winter in a greenhouse. Plant out in the spring or early summer after the last expected frosts and give some protection in their first winter[K]. Division in spring or autumn[238]. Layering.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Ephedra americana andina Shrub1.8 5-9  LMNDM233
Ephedra ciliata Shrub0.2 -  LMNDM13 
Ephedra distachyaSea Grape, JointfirShrub1.0 5-9  LMNDM243
Ephedra equisetinaMuzei Ma Huang, Ma huangShrub1.5 0-0  LMNDM14 
Ephedra fragilis Shrub1.8 7-10  LMNDM24 
Ephedra gerardianaMa Huang, Gerard jointfirShrub0.6 6-9  LMNDM243
Ephedra intermediaZhong Ma HuangShrub1.0 5-9  LMNDM14 
Ephedra majorMa HuangShrub2.0 5-9  LMNDM14 
Ephedra nevadensisMormon Tea, Nevada jointfirShrub1.2 5-9  LMNDM330
Ephedra pachyclada Shrub0.0 -  LMNDM23 
Ephedra sinicaMa Huang, Chinese ephedraShrub0.4 0-0  LMNDM14 
Ephedra torreyanaMexican Tea, Torrey's jointfirShrub1.0 0-0  LMNDM23 
Ephedra triandra Shrub0.0 -  LMNDM13 
Ephedra trifurcaLongleaf JointfirShrub2.0 -  LMNDM12 
Ephedra viridisMormon Tea, Brigham Tea, Long Leaf Ephedra, Mountain Joint Fir, Mormon Tea, EphedraShrub1.8 6-11  LMNDM231

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

Expert comment

Author

Desf.

Botanical References

1

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