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Ephedra ciliata is an evergreen shrub that can grow up to 0.15 metres tall.
It has edible and medicinal uses.
W. Asia to E. Asia in the western Himalayas.
Found at elevations of 700 - 2300 metres in Pakistan[
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it could succeed outdoors in parts of this country. This species is no more than a part of E. peduncularis. Boiss. according to one report[
]. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus.
Requires a well-drained loamy soil and a sunny position[
]. Established plants are drought resistant and are also lime tolerant[
Dioecious, male and female plants must be grown in fruit and seed are required.
Fruit - raw or cooked[
The stems of most members of this genus contain the alkaloid ephedrine and are valuable in the treatment of asthma and many other complaints of the respiratory system[
]. The whole plant can be used at much lower concentrations than the isolated constituents - unlike using the isolated ephedrine, using the whole plant rarely gives rise to side-effects[
]. Ephedra does not cure asthma but in many cases it is very effective in treating the symptoms and thus making life somewhat easier for the sufferer. The stems can be used fresh or dried and are usually made into a tea, though they can also be eaten raw[
]. The young stems are best if eating them raw, though older stems can be used if a tea is made[
]. The stems can be harvested at any time of the year and are dried for later use[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a greenhouse[
]. It can also be sown in spring in a greenhouse in a sandy compost[
]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow them on for at least their first winter in a greenhouse. Plant out in the spring or early summer after the last expected frosts and give some protection in their first winter[
Division in spring or autumn[