Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Gnetopsida Ephedrales Ephedraceae

Scientific Name: Ephedra transitoria
Species Authority: Riedl

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2010-09-23
Assessor(s): Bell, A. & Bachman, S.
Reviewer(s): Hilton-Taylor, C. & Lutz, M.L.
The distribution, habitat preferences and lack of direct threats to E. transitoria suggest the species is stable and Least Concern at present. However, few collections have been recorded recently so further surveys are encouraged in this region to make certain the species is still extant and populations are healthy.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:E. transitoria has a Mesopotamian distribution with occurrence in the following countries: Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria and Jordan. Occurs from 100 m to 600 m.
Countries occurrence:
Iraq; Jordan; Saudi Arabia; Syrian Arab Republic
Lower elevation limit (metres):100
Upper elevation limit (metres):600
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The population size is not known. Recorded as a rare plant in sandy runnels on limestone (Miller and Cope 1996).
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:A shrub, occurring in dry desert, often on gravelly plains. Associated with Artemisia sieberi, Achillea fragrantissima, Noaea mucronata, Haloxylon articulatum, Helianthemum lippii and Poa sinaica (Freitag and Maier-Stolte 1994).

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): Reported to be grazed by livestock and used by the Bedouin for fuel (Freitag and Maier-Stolte 1994), but these are not thought to be major threats at present.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no known ex situ collections or occurrences within protected areas.

Classifications [top]

8. Desert -> 8.1. Desert - Hot
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

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

Bibliography [top]

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.

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

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

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:

Citation: Bell, A. & Bachman, S. 2011. Ephedra transitoria. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T201708A9170553. . Downloaded on 13 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