Botanical Name: Ephedra altissima
*Chaetocladus altissima (Desf.) J.Nelson
*Ephedra altissima Desf. ssp. algerica Stapf
*Ephedra altissima Desf. ssp. mauritanica Stapf
*Ephedra altissima Desf. ssp. scabra Trab.
*Ephedra altissima Desf. ssp. tripolitana Pamp.
*Ephedra altissima Desf. ssp. nana Ball
*Chaetocladus altissima (Desf.) J.Nelson
*Ephedra wettsteinii Buxb.
Common Names: High-climbing jointfir
Habitat: Ephedra altissima is native to the western Sahara (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Chad, Mauritania), and also to the Canary Islands. It grows on dry,rocky,or sandy slopes
Ephedra plants are erect, branching shrubs found in desert or arid regions throughout the world. The 1.5–4 ft shrubs typically grow on dry, rocky, or sandy slopes. The many slender, yellow-green branches of ephedra have two very small leaf scales at each node. The leaves bud in an opposite fashion with the plant being green all year.The mature, double-seeded cones are visible in the fall.
Each flower is either male or female needing two different for seed formation.Flowering time is between February–May. Fruiting time is between April–May. The ripe female cone is eaten by animals.
It is in leaf all year. The species is 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.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.
It prefers well drained, loamy soil in an area with direct sunlight. Once established the plant is hardy, resistant to drought and lime. A shrub often found on rocky calcareous slopes. Plants are drought resistant once established and are also lime tolerant. A plant is growing at Hilliers Arboretum in Hampshire. It has been there for many years so can be considered fully hardy. It is growing in the shade of Pinus mugo and seems to be thriving[K]. Dioecious, male and female plants must be grown in fruit and seed are required.
Through Seeds – best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a greenhouse. It can also be sown in spring in a greenhouse in a sandy compost. 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. Division in spring or autumn. Layering.
The stems can be used fresh or dried and are usually made into a tea, though they can also be eaten raw. The young stems are best if eating them raw, though older stems can be used if a tea is made. The stems can be harvested at any time of the year and are dried for later use. Fruits may be edible.
The members of this genus have alkaloid ephedrine which are integral in the treatment of asthma and other related respiratory issues. By using the entire plant and not just the stem it has been observed, as compared to isolated ephedrine, to have few side effects. This is used to treat symptoms not cure respiratory issues. Young plants have the best potency if ingested raw while older plants are best to be dried and used in a tea.
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. 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. 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. The young stems are best if eating them raw, though older stems can be used if a tea is made. The stems can be harvested at any time of the year and are dried for later use.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.