Ephedra rituensis


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Ephedra rituensis
Species Authority: Y.Yang, D.Z.Fu & G.H.Zhu
Taxonomic Notes: This species is similar to Ephedra intermedia Schrenk & C.A. Meyer in having bi- or tri-ovulate cones, and to E. Saxatilis Royle ex Florin in having strong and well-developed woody stems and branchlets (Yang et al. 2003).

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 recently described species occurs across a large range in remote areas of Tibet. Population size and status is unknown, but its occurrence in remote and inaccessible areas indicates it is not under threat of human disturbance at present. Few recent collections have been made, but this may be a result of low survey effort in these regions. Ex situ collections are recommended.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Distributed across the Tibetan Plateau at altitudes ranging from 3,200 m to 4,600 m.
China (Qinghai, Tibet [or Xizang], Xinjiang)
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 shrub with strong, well-developed woody stems. Found growing in slightly divergent habitats including dry sandy river beaches, in crevices of rocks, sand dunes, or dried gravel river beaches. Possibly prefers moist conditions since most specimens were collected near a river or lake (Yang et al. 2003).
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): There are no major threats in this region.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Most specimens occurrences are from outside protected areas, but a single specimen collection is thought to have been made in the Quomolangma Nature Preserve. No collections are known to have been made for ex situ conservation.

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:

Yang, Y., Fu, D. and Zhu, G. 2003. A new species of Ephedra (Ephedraceae) from China. Novon 13(1): 153-155.

Citation: Bell, A. & Bachman, S. 2011. Ephedra rituensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 29 August 2015.
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