Bluestem joint fir

Ephedra equisetina

Photo/Illustration: 
Jennifer Benner
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Bluestem joint fir (Ephedra equisetina)
ef-ED-drah ek-wih-seh-TEE-nah
Genus:  Ephedra
A member of the conifer clan, Ephedra equisetina is commonly called bluestem joint fir due to its finely textured blue stems. In spring, it features a conspicuous froth of yellow blooms that are often followed by red berries. It is perfect for naturalized areas since it reliably spreads.
Noteworthy Characteristics:  Dense branching provides excellent winter interest. Yellow blooms and red berries. Heat and drought tolerant.
Care:  Prefers full sun to partial shade and grows well in garden loam, clay, or sandy soil. It can take moderately moist to xeric conditions and is extremely heat and drought tolerant, which makes it a good choice for groupings in difficult areas.
Propagation:  Sow seed in containers in an open frame in autumn. Divide in spring or autumn.
Problems:  Rust can occur.

Overview

Height
3 ft. to 6 ft.
Spread
3 ft. to 6 ft.
Growth Habit
Spreads
Growth Pace
Moderate Grower
Light
Full Sun to Part Shade
Moisture
Adaptable
Maintenance
Moderate
Characteristics
Showy Flowers,
Showy Foliage,
Showy Fruit
Bloom Time
Late Spring,
Spring
Flower Color
Yellow Flower
Foliage Color
Evergreen
Uses
Beds and Borders,
Naturalizing
Seasonal Interest
Spring Interest
Tolerance
Drought Tolerant
Type
Shrubs

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