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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 2 | Ephedraceae | Ephedra

7. Ephedra funerea Coville & C. V. Morton, J. Wash. Acad. Sci. 25: 307. 1935.

Death Valley ephedra

Ephedra californica S. Watson var. funerea (Coville & C. V. Morton) L. D. Benson

Shrubs erect, 0.25--1.5 m. Bark gray, slightly cracked and irregularly fissured. Branches alternate or whorled, rigid, angle of divergence about 60°. Twigs gray-green, becoming gray with age, glaucous, slightly scabrous, with numerous very fine longitudinal grooves; internodes 2--6 cm. Terminal buds conic, 1--4 mm, apex acute. Leaves in whorls of 3, 2--6 mm, connate to 2/3--3/4 their length; bases splitting at margins, persistent, forming black, thickened collar; apex acute. Pollen cones 1--3 at node, narrowly ellipsoid, 5--8 mm, on very short, scaly peduncles (rarely sessile); bracts in 6--9 whorls of 3, light yellow, ovate, 3--4 × 2--3 mm, membranous, base short-clawed; bracteoles equaling bracts; sporangiophores 3--5 mm, exserted to 1/3 their length, with 3--7 sessile to short-stalked microsporangia. Seed cones 1--3 at node, lance-obovoid, 8--15 mm, on short, scaly peduncles (rarely sessile); bracts in 6--9 whorls of 3, obovate, 4--8 × 3--5 mm, papery, yellow-translucent with green-yellow center and base, base broadly clawed, margins slightly dentate. Seeds 1(--3), ellipsoid, 6--10 × 2--4 mm, pale green to light brown, smooth to scabrous.

Coning March--April. Sandy, dry soil and rocky scrub areas; of conservation concern; 500--1500 m; Calif., Nev.


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