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Ephedra nevadensis - S.Watson.

Common Name Mormon Tea, Nevada jointfir
Family Ephedraceae
USDA hardiness 5-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Dry, rocky slopes and hills, rarely in sandy flat areas, at elevtions of 700 - 1900 metres[270].
Range South-western N. America - Arizna, California, Nevada, Oregon and Utah.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Ephedra nevadensis Mormon Tea, Nevada jointfir


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Ephedra nevadensis Mormon Tea, Nevada jointfir
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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Ephedra nevadensis is an evergreen Shrub growing to 1.2 m (4ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6. It is in leaf all year, in flower from April to June. 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: acid, neutral and basic (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

Habitats

 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit  Seed
Edible Uses: Tea

Fruit - raw. A sweet but very mild flavour[K]. Seed - cooked[22, 46, 105, 161, 257]. A bitter taste[92]. It can be roasted and ground into a powder and used to make a bread or mush[183]. A delicious tea is made by steeping the green or dried twigs in boiling water until they turn an amber or pink colour[21, 92, 95, 105, 161, 183].

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.
Blood purifier  Diuretic  Febrifuge  Poultice  Tonic  VD

The stems are blood purifier, diuretic, febrifuge and tonic[22, 46, 61, 257]. They are beneficial in the treatment of urogenital complaints[22, 46, 61]. An infusion has been used in the treatment of kidney problems, gonorrhoea and the first stages of syphilis[257]. A poultice of the powdered stems has been applied to sores[257]. 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].

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Other Uses

None known

Special Uses

Cultivation details

Requires a well-drained loamy soil and a sunny position[1, 11]. Established plants are drought resistant and are also lime tolerant[200]. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.

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The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

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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

Squaw tea, Nevada jointfir, Canatillo, Desert tea, Popatillo,

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Australia, Central America, Mexico, North America, Tasmania, USA,

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 altissimaHigh-climbing jointfirShrub0.0 0-0  LMNDM13 
Ephedra americana andina Shrub1.8 5-9  LMNDM23 
Ephedra ciliata Shrub0.2 -  LMNDM13 
Ephedra distachyaSea Grape, JointfirShrub1.0 5-9  LMNDM24 
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  LMNDM24 
Ephedra intermediaZhong Ma HuangShrub1.0 5-9  LMNDM14 
Ephedra majorMa HuangShrub2.0 5-9  LMNDM14 
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  LMNDM23 

 

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Expert comment

Author

S.Watson.

Botanical References

171270

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