Ephedra foliata 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Gnetopsida Ephedrales Ephedraceae

Scientific Name: Ephedra foliata Boiss. ex C.A.Mey.
Common Name(s):
English Shrubby Horsetail
Ephedra alte C.A.Mey.
Ephedra ciliata Fisch. & C.A.Mey.
Ephedra foliata Boiss. ex C.A.Mey. ssp. aitchisonii Stapf
Ephedra rollandii Maire

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2010-09-17
Assessor(s): Bell, A. & Bachman, S.
Reviewer(s): Hilton-Taylor, C. & Lutz, M.L.
A widespread species and with no perceived threats at present. Occurs in numerous protected areas across the range and is known from recent collections indicating the species is still extant and the population is stable. Hence is listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Distributed in northwest and eastern Africa and widespread across the Arabian Peninsula, extending east to India (Saharo-Sindian/Irano-Turanian distribution; Freitag and Maier-Stolte 2003). Occurs from sea level up to 1,700 m.
Countries occurrence:
Afghanistan; Algeria; Bahrain; Chad; Djibouti; Egypt (Egypt (African part), Sinai); Ethiopia; India (Punjab); Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Jordan; Kuwait; Mauritania; Morocco; Oman; Palestinian Territory, Occupied; Qatar; Saudi Arabia; Somalia; Turkmenistan; United Arab Emirates; Western Sahara; Yemen (North Yemen, South Yemen)
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):1700
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Is common to uncommon depending on the area. It has been recorded in low numbers in protected areas in Iran.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:A shrub, climbing/scrambling, occurring on rocky slopes and wadi-sides. Noted as a typical component of different types of thorn savanna in semi-arid and arid climates (Freitag and Maier-Stolte 2003). Flowers from February to May.

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). However, E. foliata is reported to have little or no ephedrine. The crushed boiled plant is used for tanning (Norton et al. 2009).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Used medicinally and fruit is eaten as a dessert or as famine food, although these are not considered to be major threats.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Occurs in numerous protected areas across its range. Collections are known from at least five botanical gardens and seed has been collected for ex situ storage as part of the Millennium Seed Bank project.

Classifications [top]

2. Savanna -> 2.1. Savanna - Dry
0. Root -> 6. Rocky areas (eg. inland cliffs, mountain peaks)
8. Desert -> 8.1. Desert - Hot

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:Yes
In-Place Education
5. Biological resource use -> 5.2. Gathering terrestrial plants -> 5.2.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Minority (<50%) ♦ severity:Negligible declines ⇒ Impact score:Low Impact: 4 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.2. Species disturbance

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

♦  Food - human
 Local : ✓ 

♦  Medicine - human & veterinary
 Local : ✓   National : ✓  International : ✓ 

♦  Manufacturing chemicals
 Local : ✓   National : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Chaudhri, I.I. 1963. Distribution of gymnosperms in western Pakistan. Vegetatio 11(5/6): 415-426.

Ewan, J. 1991. Review: Untitled. Taxon 40(3): 537.

Freitag, H. and Maier-Stolte, M. 1994. Ephedraceae. In: K. Browicz (ed.) (ed.), Chorology of the Trees and Shrubs in South-west Asia and Adjacent Regions, pp. 5-16 & 39-52. Bogucki Publishers, Poznan, Poland.

Freitag, H. and Maier-Stolte, M. 2003. The genus Ephedra in NE Tropical Africa. Kew Bulletin 58: 415-426.

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

Mehrabian, A., Naquinezhad, A., Mahiny, A.S., Mostafavi, H. and Kouchekzadeh, M. 2009. Vegetation mapping of the Mond protected area of Bushehr Province (South-west Iran). Journal of Integrative Plant Biology 51(3): 251-260.

Miller, A.G. and Cope, T.A. 1996. Flora of the Arabian Peninsula and Socotra. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh.

Norton, J., Abdul Majid, S., Allan, D., Al Safran, M., Boer, B. and Richer, R. 2009. An Illustrated Checklist of the Flora of Qatar. Ashford Colour Press, Gosport, UK.

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. Survey of Economic Plants for Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (SEPASAL). Available at: www.kew.org/ceb/sepasal. (Accessed: 03/02/2009).

Termeh, F. and Moussavi, M. 1982. Plants of Kish Island, Iran. Willdenowia 12(2): 253-286.

WCSP. 2013. World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (WCSP). Available at: http://www.kew.org/wcsp/.

Citation: Bell, A. & Bachman, S. 2011. Ephedra foliata. In: . The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T201696A9167394. . Downloaded on 21 June 2018.
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