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Longleaf Jointfir Back to Plant Page
Ephedra trifurca

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About Longleaf Jointfir (Ephedra trifurca) Ephedra trifurca is a species of Ephedra known by the common names longleaf jointfir and Mexican tea. It is native to many of the northern states of Mexico and the southwestern United States, where it is a resident of desert scrub plant communities. This sprawling shrub may approach two meters in height. It is made up of erect, sharp-pointed twigs which are light green when young and age to yellowish or greenish gray. It has curling, pointed leaves at its nodes which are up to 1.5 centimeters long and persistent. Male plants produce pollen cones at the nodes, each up to a centimeter long, and female plants produce seed cones which are slightly larger and each contain one seed in a papery envelope.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
6 - 15 ft (1.8 - 4.6 m)


Growth Rate

Flower Color

Flowering Season

Native Status

Natural Setting

Elevation ?
-203' - 4706'

Annual Precip. ?
2.6" - 21.1"

Summer Precip. ?
0.34" - 1.40"

Coldest Month ?
40.7° F - 63.3° F

Hottest Month ?
69.6° F - 89.1° F

Humidity ?
2.83 vpd - 40.98 vpd

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

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

Landscaping Information
Common uses

Nursery Availability
Never or Almost Never Available

Other Names
Common Names
Mexican Tea

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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