Mormon Tea

Ephedra nevadensis

Family: Ephedraceae
Genus: Ephedra (eh-FED-ruh) (Info)
Species: nevadensis (nev-uh-DEN-sis) (Info)

Category:

Shrubs

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Foliage:

Provides Winter Interest

Foliage Color:

Blue-Green

Height:

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

Spacing:

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us

Danger:

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Inconspicuous/none

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Other details:

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Non-patented

Propagation Methods:

From hardwood heel cuttings

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

By simple layering

Seed Collecting:

Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing

Gardeners' Notes:

0
positives
1
neutral
0
negatives
RatingContent
Neutral

On Apr 26, 2014, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Early mormon settlers made tea out of this toxic plant, reportedly, so hence the name. Common high desert plant in southwest (particularly southern California, Nevada and Arizona). This is a gymnosperm, so no flowers... separate male and female plants, which look pretty darn similar all year long until late winter/early spring when the boys make the pollen (hence have a lot of yellow in them) and the girls make the cones (stay sort of a grey green but with dinky nodules). Interesting to me is how male plants tend to grow in large groups and females in separate groups (much smaller). Rarely see two plants of opposite sexes right near each other.

Quite invasive, and can dominate the foliage in cleared areas, until something else more invasive takes over. Not exactly what ... read more

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