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Published In: Species Plantarum 2: 1040. 1753. (1 May 1753) (Sp. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 8/19/2015)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project data     (Last Modified On 8/19/2015)
Area distribution:

Ca. 65 species mainly in subtropical regions of the northern and southern hemispheres.  


Some species contain the alkaloid ephedrine, used in medicine (Herba Ephedrae).

All local species of Ephedra are browsed by goats and camels.


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Mostly dioecious, much branched, erect or climbing shrubs. Branches usually green. Leaves opposite or whorled, often reduced to membranous sheaths. Reproductive organs axillary, opposite or arranged in whorls of 3 or 4 cones, each cone composed of 2-8 decussate pairs of bracts, the lower pair (or pairs) sterile, the others fertile. Staminate flowers of 2 opposite scales (perianth) subtending the single column of stamens; anthers 2-8, at end of column, sessile or stalked, each with 2-3 pollen sacs dehiscing by a terminal pore. Ovulate flowers in groups of 1-3, each consisting of 2-4 connate bracts (perianth) and an ovule with 2 pairs of bracts forming the outer and inner integuments, the latter terminating in an elongated style-like micropyle (micropylar tubule). Seed enclosed in the leathery, winged or fleshy integuments; cotyledons 2.



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