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Ephedra equisetina (Bluestem joint fir)

Ephedra equisetina Photo/Illustration: Jennifer Benner


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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Botanical Name: Ephedra equisetina ef-ED-drah ek-wih-seh-TEE-nah Common Name: Bluestem joint fir 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.
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
Tolerance Drought Tolerant
Characteristics Showy Flowers; Showy Foliage; Showy Fruit
Bloom Time Late Spring; Spring
Foliage Color Evergreen
Flower Color Yellow Flower
Uses Beds and Borders, Naturalizing
Style Xeric Bed
Seasonal Interest Winter Interest, Spring Interest, Summer Interest, Fall Interest
Type Shrubs

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