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Ephedra viridis

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About Mountain Ephedra (Ephedra viridis) Ephedra viridis is a species of Ephedra known by the common names green ephedra and green Mormon tea. It is native to the western United States, where it is a member of varied scrub, woodland, and open habitats. This shrub is made up of many erect bright green twigs. They may yellow somewhat with age. Nodes along the twigs are marked by the tiny brown ridges which are the plant's leaves. Male plants produce pollen cones at the nodes, each under a centimeter long with protruding yellowish sporangiophores. Female plants produce seed cones which are slightly larger and contain two seeds each.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
3 - 5 ft (0.9 - 1.5 m)


Growth Rate

Flower Color

Flowering Season

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
scrub, woodland, open areas

Sun, Part Shade

Elevation ?
284' - 10519'

Annual Precip. ?
3.6" - 53.7"

Summer Precip. ?
0.17" - 4.40"

Coldest Month ?
24.5° F - 61.4° F

Hottest Month ?
46.9° F - 88.8° F

Humidity ?
1.07 vpd - 42.79 vpd

Soil Description
Prefers sandy or loamy soils. Does not grow well in clay soils.

Sunset Zones ?
1, 2*, 3*, 7*, 8*, 9*, 10*, 11*, 12*, 13, 14*, 15*, 16*, 17*, 18*, 19*, 20*, 21*, 22*, 23*, 24*

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

Water Requirement ?
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Propagation ?
For propagating by seed: 1 mo. stratification. No treatment. gives nearly as good results (Stidham et al. 1980).

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Common Names
Green Mormon Tea, Green Ephedra

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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