This medium-sized shrub grows up to 4 feet high and appears to have no leaves. It looks like a thicket of numerous green, jointed, leafless branches with conspicuous nodes.
It actually does have small, scale-like leaves and tiny flowers of male and female cones which bloom February through April. The fruit is a seed surrounded by 2 or 3 large scales.
There are a number of species of Mormon Tea (Ephedra genus) growing in the southwestern deserts of the U.S., including E. trifurca, E. viridis, E. torreyana, E. nevadensis and E. californica. All have been used for a variety of medicinal purposes by various peoples over the centuries.
All four of the southwestern deserts of the U.S.
Mesas, plains, sandy soil including dunes below 5,000 feet.
-- A.R Royo
We have an online wildflower field
guide that is designed to help you identify desert wildflowers by color, scientific
name, region and common name. The pictures are sized to work on the iPod, iPhone, iPad and
similar devices. With your iPod or phone you will easily be able to identify
wildflowers while in the desert. Links for downloads are on the bottom of the Wildflower
Field Guide page.
Photo tips: Most digital point-and-shoot cameras have a macro function - usually symbolized by the icon of a little flower. When you turn on that function, you allow your camera to get closer to the subject, looking into a flower for example. Or getting up close and personal with a bug. More on desert photography.
Mojave Desert Wildflowers - This book is the standard by which all other wildflower books are measured. The author, Jon Mark Stewart, has combined super photography with concise information. This book has an entire color page for each wildflower covered, with a discussion of the wildflower. 210 pages with 200 color photos. More...
What's Blooming Now - Check the Wildflower Reports
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