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Ephedra trifurca - Torr.

Common Name Longleaf Jointfir
Family Ephedraceae
USDA hardiness Coming soon
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Dry sandy and rocky places below 600 metres in Creosote bush scrub, deserts etc[71]. Dry rocky slopes to flat sandy areas at elevations of 500 - 2000 metres[270].
Range South-western N. America - southern California to Texas and Mexico.
Edibility Rating    (1 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care
Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Ephedra trifurca Longleaf Jointfir


G.A. Cooper @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database
Ephedra trifurca Longleaf Jointfir
Steven Perkins @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Ephedra trifurca is an evergreen Shrub growing to 2 m (6ft 7in). It is in leaf all year, in flower from March to May. 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.

Synonyms

Habitats

 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit.
Edible Uses: Tea.

A tea is made from the branches[177]. Fruit - raw or cooked.

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.

Diuretic;  Kidney;  Poultice;  Stomachic;  VD.

The dried and crushed stems are diuretic[238].An infusion has been used in the treatment of venereal disease, stomach complaints and kidney problems[257]. The pulverized or boiled stems were also applied externally as a poultice on syphilitic sores by some native North American Indians[213]. They can also be used as a poultice on other skin sores[257]. Unlike many members of the genus, this species is not very rich in the alkaloid ephedrine and so is not used in the treatment of asthma[238].

Other Uses

None known

Cultivation details

We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it could succeed outdoors at least in the milder parts of this country. It hybridises in the wild with other members of the genus. In particular, it hybridises with E. torreyana to form E . × intermixta. This hybrid occurs in a small area of southwestern New Mexico (near Engle, Sierra County) within the zone of sympatry of the two parental species; it may be fertile (mature seeds are formed). It is intermediate in most characters but can be identified by its combination of the spinelike terminal buds of E . trifurca and the scabrous, light yellow seeds of E . torreyana[270].The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. 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 in fruit and seed are required.

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

Found In

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

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 NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Ephedra altissimaHigh-climbing jointfir13
Ephedra americana andina 23
Ephedra ciliata 13
Ephedra distachyaSea Grape, Jointfir24
Ephedra equisetinaMuzei Ma Huang, Ma huang14
Ephedra fragilis 24
Ephedra gerardianaMa Huang, Gerard jointfir24
Ephedra intermediaZhong Ma Huang14
Ephedra majorMa Huang14
Ephedra nevadensisMormon Tea, Nevada jointfir33
Ephedra pachyclada 23
Ephedra sinicaMa Huang, Chinese ephedra14
Ephedra torreyanaMexican Tea, Torrey's jointfir23
Ephedra triandra 13
Ephedra viridisMormon Tea, Brigham Tea, Long Leaf Ephedra, Mountain Joint Fir, Mormon Tea, Ephedra23

 

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Expert comment

Author

Torr.

Botanical References

171270

Links / References

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