Ephedra viridis
Common name: 
Green Mormon Tea
Green Ephedra
e-fee-DRA VIR-i-dis
E. nevadensis var. viridis
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Shrub with deciduous leaves and evergreen stems, upright, to about 3 ft (~0.9 m) high, stems green but age to yellow-green, thin, stiff.  Leaves opposite, awl-shaped, 3-6 mm long, forming a membranous sheath around the stem, drop early leaving a broom-like shrub.  Male flowers (pollen cones) in clusters of 2-5 per node, each with 6-8 stamen; female (seed) cones 2–6 per node, 6–10 mm, obovoid, sessile or short stalked.  Fruit red, fleshy, standing above the bracts.
  • Sun, needs good drainage, drought tolerant.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 5(?)         Native range extends from the Arizona deserts to California, east of the Sierra Nevada, San Joaquin Valley and southern mountains, and to Utah, the western edge of the Colorado desert into southwestern Wyoming.
  • viridis: green
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  • plant habit, in habitat

    plant habit, in habitat

  • green stems with leaves

    green stems with leaves

  • plant habit, flowering

    plant habit, flowering

  • flowering stems

    flowering stems

  • male flower clusters (pollen cones)

    male flower clusters (pollen cones)