Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Gnetopsida Ephedrales Ephedraceae

Scientific Name: Ephedra breana
Species Authority: Phil.
Common Name(s):
Spanish Frutilla De Campo, Pingo-pingo
Ephedra americana Humb. & Bonpl. ex Willd. subspecies humboldtii Stapf

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2010-09-16
Assessor(s): Bell, A. & Bachman, S.
Reviewer(s): Hilton-Taylor, C. & Lutz, M.L.
Does not meet any of the threatened criteria. Range is relatively large and recent collections have been made indicating the species is still extant. Despite general threats in the region this species is not thought to be specifically threatened, hence is listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Distributed from northwest Argentina through to Chile and Bolivia. Also reported from southeastern Peru, although no recent specimen records were found. Recorded from 500 m up to 4,300 m.
Countries occurrence:
Argentina (Mendoza); Bolivia, Plurinational States of; Chile (Antofagasta, Atacama); Peru
Lower elevation limit (metres):500
Upper elevation limit (metres):4300
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Reported as locally common, although the exact population size is not known.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Often found in areas of low vegetation with small shrubs such as Puna grassland with cushion shrubs and Cereus. Able to tolerate arid areas with full exposure. Also found on rocky outcrops in dry areas. Prefers calcium-rich soil. Flowers from October to November and fruits from January to February.

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). This species is also known to be grazed by animals and may have some ornamental value.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Although this plant is known to be grazed by animals there is no indication as to whether this is sustainable or not.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Not reported to occur in any protected areas and no reported seed bank collection, although it does grow in two botanic gardens. Seed (strobili) collection is a recommended ex situ conservation action as well as further research to understand threats and population size and status.

Classifications [top]

4. Grassland -> 4.5. Grassland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability: Suitable  
0. Root -> 6. Rocky areas (eg. inland cliffs, mountain peaks)
suitability: Suitable  
3. Species management -> 3.4. Ex-situ conservation -> 3.4.2. Genome resource bank

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:No
In-Place Species Management
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:No
In-Place Education
1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

♦  Food - animal
 Local : ✓ 

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

Bibliography [top]

IUCN. 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2011.2). Available at: (Accessed: 10 November 2011).

Plants for a Future. 1996-2010. Plants For A Future, Earth, Plants, People. Available at:

Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. 2009. World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (WCSP). Available at:

Squeo, F.A., Veit, H., Arancio, G., Gutierrez, J.R., Arroy, M.T.K. and Oliver N. 1993. Spatial heterogeneity of high mountain vegetation in the Andean desert zone of Chile. Mountain Research and Development 13(2): 203-209.

Citation: Bell, A. & Bachman, S. 2011. Ephedra breana. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T201671A9161123. . Downloaded on 10 October 2015.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided