Ephedra trifurca Torr. ex S. Watson
Ephedra, Mormon tea, Longleaf jointfir, Jointfir, Longleaf teabush, Tea weed, Canutillo
Ephedraceae (Mormon-Tea Family)
USDA Symbol: EPTR
This is a 1-5 ft. shrub with yellowish-gray, erect, forked branches. Spine-tipped leaves, in groups of three, split and fall off early leaving a leafless, broom-like shrub. Cones are red-brown.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Breeding System: Flowers Unisexual , Dioecious
Size Notes: 1-5 ft
Size Class: 3-6 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr
DistributionUSA: AZ , CA , NM , TX
Native Distribution: S.w. TX to s. CA & n.w. Mex.
Native Habitat: Sandy or gravelly hill & plains; dry creek beds; scrubby areas
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil pH: Alkaline (pH>7.2) , Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Drought Tolerance: High
Cold Tolerant: yes
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Gravelly or sandy soils.
Conditions Comments: Not Available
BenefitUse Wildlife: Provides cover for birds and small mammals. Nutlike seeds are taken by quail and other birds.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Wildflower Center Seed BankLBJWC-PM-1 Collected 2006-05-25 in Presidio County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
BibliographyBibref 995 - Native Landscaping from El Paso to L.A. (2000) Wasowski, S. and A. Wasowski
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Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Ephedra trifurca in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Ephedra trifurca in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Ephedra trifurca
MetadataRecord Modified: 2011-10-11
Research By: TWC Staff