Bartley Ranch showcases several historic Nevada ranch houses. Come see them!
Bartley Ranch showcases several historic Nevada ranch houses.  Come see them!

Sign up for the County's email subscription service


Mormon Tea

Ephedra viridias
Ephederaceae family


      This is a very common shrub in Nevada. The only foliage on this plant are the green, tube-like, segmented branches. It is non-flowering (gymnosperm) and pollinates without the use of insects or birds. Gymnosperms are considered more primitive than flowering plants (angiosperms) and take the form of mostly conifers (pines, firs, cedars, to name a few).
Hence, Mormon Tea is more closely related to the Pinyon Pine than to the Big Sagebrush or Soap Weed.      The settlers used this plant as a tea replacement. Whether they knew it or not, this shrub is a decongestant and contains ephedrine, a chemical found on cough syrups and decongestants. This plant is also a bronchial dilator useful in the treatment of asthma.


Chokecherry

Bibliography

 

May Center Logo Department Logo Comments? Questions?
Email us

Wilbur D. May Center at
Rancho San Rafael Regional Park
1595 N. Sierra,
Reno, Nevada U.S.A.
(775) 785-5961 Fax (775) 785-4707