Green Ephedra


Green Ephedra

  • Scientific name: Ephedra viridis
  • Extremely drought resistant
  • Winter hardy
  • Intolerant of wet, poorly drained sites
  • Important browse species for big game

Quantity is per pound. Example: 1 = 1 lb, 2 = 2 lbs, 3 = 3lbs, etc. This is pure seed, not a live plant.

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Green Ephedra (Ephedra viridis), Also known as Mormon Tea. The name “Mormon Tea” is often incorrectly given to Ephedra Nevadensis. Green ephedra has numerous parallel stems that point upward resembling a broom, with branchlets clustered around nodes. It is found on dry, rocky, open sites in valleys and washes, and on slopes, alluvial fans, mesas, and foothills. It is typically found at elevations ranging from 3,000 to 7,500 feet. Average precipitation on sites supporting green ephedra ranges from 6 to 15 inches. It is drought resistant and winter hardy. It grows primarily on sandy, gravelly or rocky, well-drained, undeveloped soils. It is intolerant of wet, poorly drained sites. Associated species are Big sagebrush, Nevada Jointfir (Ephedra nevadensis), Galleta Grass, Sand Dropseed, and Utah juniper.

Green ephedra (Ephedra viridis) is an important browse species for big game. It is not utilized by domestic livestock. It is heavily browsed by big game on winter range but only moderately or lightly browsed during other seasons. Green ephedra stems and twigs are nearly all within reach of grazing animals, and can serve as winter forage because they extend above the snow.

Green ephedra is highly toxic to both domestic sheep and cows during gestation, even at low doses. It causes ruminal impaction, diarrhea, vomiting, fecal mucus, anorexia, and in some cases death.

The stems of green ephedra were traditionally brewed by Native Americans to make a nonmedicinal beverage as well as a medicinal tea considered to be a remedy for a backache. Native Americans also made flour and a coffee-like beverage from the seeds. Ephedra species provided Native Americans with good charcoal for tattooing. Green ephedra can be used for xeriscaping projects, and has been widely used as a landscape species for roadsides, recreational sites and mine dumps. It is valuable for its vivid green color in an often dull gray sagebrush environment.

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Zone Map


Min. Precipitation

7 Inches Minimum

Seed Count