Common Name: 
Joint Fir
Mormon Tea

Ephedra is the sole genus in the gymnosperm family Ephedraceae; there are some 30 species.   Most are reed-like shrubs, upright, climbing, or low growing.  Leaves opposite or whorled, gray green to bright green, very small, more or less fussed at the base with the stem and usually reduced to membranous sheaths.  Male flowers (pollen cones) are solitary or grouped in spikes; female flowers (seed cones) have naked ovules enclosed by an integument.
Ephedra: from the Greek, ephedra, for a mare's tail which it resembles somewhat.