Ephedra rupestris


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Ephedra rupestris
Species Authority: Benth
Common Name(s):
Spanish Munika, Pincu-pincu, Sanu-sanu, Saro-saro
Ephedra americana Humb. & Bonpl. ex Willd. subspecies rupestris (Benth.) Stapf
Ephedra andina Poepp. & Endl. subspecies humilis (Wedd.) Parl.
Ephedra humilis Wedd.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2010-09-20
Assessor(s): Bell, A. & Bachman, S.
Reviewer(s): Hilton-Taylor, C. & Lutz, M.L.
This is a wide ranging species occurring across the Andes at high elevations and is under no major threats at present. Hence is listed as Least Concern. Recent collections made in Argentina indicate the species is still extant, but further surveys would help to further understand threats and population status.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Has a wide range extending through the Andes from Ecuador to northern Argentina. Occurs from 1,900 m up to 4,600 m.
Argentina (Jujuy, Salta, Tucumán); Bolivia, Plurinational States of; Ecuador (Ecuador (mainland)); Peru
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population size is not known.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: A dwarf shrub to 0.6 m tall, prostrate, forming dense cushions. Found in grassy páramo with rocky outcrops in windswept areas, growing in gravelly or sandy soil. Also found in grassy areas and associated with cushion plants, bunch grass, cactus, lichen and composites. Flowers from March to May.
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: 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 (Plants for a Future 2010).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Only small scale grazing is likely to affect this species due to its distribution at high elevations. As with other Ephedra species it may be harvested for medicinal uses, but there is no specific reference about this species being utilized.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The distribution of this species intersects several protected areas including the Salinas y Aguada Blanca National Reserve. Seeds have yet to be collected as an ex situ conservation measure, although it is known to be represented in two botanic gardens. Further research on threats and population status would aid future assessments.

Bibliography [top]

IUCN. 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2011.2). Available at: http://www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 10 November 2011).

Plants for a Future. 1996-2010. Plants For A Future, Earth, Plants, People. Available at: http://www.pfaf.org/user/plantsearch.aspx.

Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. 2009. World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (WCSP). Available at: http://www.kew.org/wcsp/.

Citation: Bell, A. & Bachman, S. 2011. Ephedra rupestris. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 03 September 2015.
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