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Ephedra nevadensis - S.Watson.                
                 
Common Name Mormon Tea, Nevada jointfir
Family Ephedraceae
Synonyms
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Dry, rocky slopes and hills, rarely in sandy flat areas, at elevtions of 700 - 1900 metres[270].
Range South-western N. America - Arizna, California, Nevada, Oregon and Utah.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun

Summary       

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of shrub
Ephedra nevadensis is an evergreen Shrub growing to 1.2 m (4ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Apr to June. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required)The plant is not self-fertile.


USDA hardiness zone : 5-9


Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

Ephedra nevadensis Mormon Tea, Nevada jointfir


http://flickr.com/photos/16921893%40N00/
Ephedra nevadensis Mormon Tea, Nevada jointfir
http://www.flickr.com/people/38213125@N00
   
Habitats       
 Cultivated Beds;
Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts: Fruit;  Seed.
Edible Uses: Tea.

Fruit - raw. A sweet but very mild flavour[K]. Seed - cooked[22, 46, 105, 161, 257]. A bitter taste[92]. It can be roasted and ground into a powder and used to make a bread or mush[183]. A delicious tea is made by steeping the green or dried twigs in boiling water until they turn an amber or pink colour[21, 92, 95, 105, 161, 183].
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Blood purifier;  Diuretic;  Febrifuge;  Poultice;  Tonic;  VD.

The stems are blood purifier, diuretic, febrifuge and tonic[22, 46, 61, 257]. They are beneficial in the treatment of urogenital complaints[22, 46, 61]. An infusion has been used in the treatment of kidney problems, gonorrhoea and the first stages of syphilis[257]. A poultice of the powdered stems has been applied to sores[257]. The stems of most members of this genus contain the alkaloid ephedrine and are valuable in the treatment of asthma and many other complaints of the respiratory system[K]. The whole plant can be used at much lower concentrations than the isolated constituents - unlike using the isolated ephedrine, using the whole plant rarely gives rise to side-effects[254]. Ephedra does not cure asthma but in many cases it is very effective in treating the symptoms and thus making life somewhat easier for the sufferer. The stems can be used fresh or dried and are usually made into a tea, though they can also be eaten raw[K]. The young stems are best if eating them raw, though older stems can be used if a tea is made[K]. The stems can be harvested at any time of the year and are dried for later use[238].
Other Uses
None known
Cultivation details                                         
Requires a well-drained loamy soil and a sunny position[1, 11]. Established plants are drought resistant and are also lime tolerant[200]. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.
                                                                                 
Propagation                                         
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a greenhouse[200]. It can also be sown in spring in a greenhouse in a sandy compost[K]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow them on for at least their first winter in a greenhouse. Plant out in the spring or early summer after the last expected frosts and give some protection in their first winter[K]. Division in spring or autumn[238]. Layering.
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Expert comment                                         
 
      
Author                                         
S.Watson.
                                                                                 
Botanical References                                         
171270
                                                                                 
Links / References                                         

  [K] Ken Fern Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.

[1]F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaces in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
[11]Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
[21]Lust. J. The Herb Book.
Lots of information tightly crammed into a fairly small book.
[22]Sholto-Douglas. J. Alternative Foods.
Not very comprehensive, it seems more or less like a copy of earlier writings with little added.
[46]Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants.
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
[61]Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man.
Forget the sexist title, this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader.
[92]Balls. E. K. Early Uses of Californian Plants.
A nice readable book.
[95]Saunders. C. F. Edible and Useful Wild Plants of the United States and Canada.
Useful wild plants of America. A pocket guide.
[105]Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World.
The most comprehensive guide to edible plants I've come across. Only the briefest entry for each species, though, and some of the entries are more than a little dubious. Not for the casual reader.
[161]Yanovsky. E. Food Plants of the N. American Indians. Publication no. 237.
A comprehensive but very terse guide. Not for the casual reader.
[183]Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
[200]Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
[238]Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.
[254]Chevallier. A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants
An excellent guide to over 500 of the more well known medicinal herbs from around the world.
[257]Moerman. D. Native American Ethnobotany
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.
[270] Flora of N. America
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.

Readers comment                                         
 
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Subject : Ephedra nevadensis  
             

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