Ephedra sinica (Ephedraceae)
The Ephedra plant belongs to the Gnetum family (gnetaceae). It is an upstanding brushy bush that can grow up to 60 cm high. The leafless stems are lightly green when they are still young and the colors olive-brown when they get older. The seeds are uniformly brown and come in pairs. The plants is common on slopes and hills, often below 1500m altitude. It is naturally present in the deserts of Mohave and Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico.
Cultivation and reproduction
Sow the seeds at room temperature (20 ºC). The Ephedra plant is robust and doesn't need a lot of attention. Keep the plant inside or outside in a warm, frost-free and dry climate. It grows well in a loamy soil and grows very good in a loosely, rocky soil with full sun and a bit of water. Often, the plant is begin reproduced by spilling up the clods in spring, and by sowing the seeds in early spring in a lightly sandy soil.
The ends of the branches can be picked and dried as long as the plant still remains with leaves and the branches aren't cut further than the viable buds.