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The Plant Guide

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Bluestem joint fir

Ephedra equisetina

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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 CharacteristicsDense branching provides excellent winter interest. Yellow blooms and red berries. Heat and drought tolerant.

CarePrefers 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.

PropagationSow seed in containers in an open frame in autumn. Divide in spring or autumn.

ProblemsRust can occur.

  • Genus : Ephedra
  • Plant Height : 3 to 6 feet
  • Plant Width : 3 to 6 feet
  • Zones : 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
  • Moisture : Adaptable
  • Tolerance : Drought Tolerant
  • Light : Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Bloom Time : Late Spring, Spring
  • Growth Rate : Moderate
  • Maintenance : Moderate
  • Characteristics : Showy Foliage, Showy Fruit
  • Plant Type : Shrubs
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Spring Interest
  • Flower Color : Yellow
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