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Care of the shrub Ephedra altissima or Chaetocladus altissima.

Care of the shrub Ephedra altissima or Chaetocladus altissima

The genus Ephedra, family Ephedraceae, includes 60 species of shrubs native to Eurasia, Africa and America. Some species are: Ephedra altissima, Ephedra californica, Ephedra distachya, Ephedra nebrodensis, Ephedra fragilis, Ephedra americana, Ephedra chilensis.

Scientific synonym: Chaetocladus altissima. This species is native to North Africa and the Canary Islands.

They are perennial dioecious shrubs with a rounded habit and slow growth that reach 1 meter (3.28 feet) in height and 1 meter (3.28 feet) in width. The green stems bear small rudimentary leaves. The cream or yellow flowers are of no decorative interest. They bloom from late winter to mid-spring. The red berries are quite decorative.

Chaetocladus altissima is used in rockeries, in shrubby groups, in informal hedges, on dry and sunny slopes and as isolated specimens. It's ideal for Mediterranean coastal gardens. It has medicinal properties since it contains ephedrine.

Ephedra altissima grows in full sun and semi-shade exposures. It resists light and occasional frosts.

The soil must have good drainage; they are capable of growing in calcareous, stony, poor and sandy soils.

Chaetocladus altissima is a very drought resistant plant that needs occasional watering, always waiting for the substrate to be completely dry.

Ephedra altissima does not need fertilizer.

Prune at the end of winter to maintain a compact habit and eliminate dry branches.

Chaetocladus altissima is a plant resistant to the usual pests and diseases but sensitive to excess watering.

Ephedra altissima is propagated from seeds sown in spring and by cuttings.

Images of the shrub Ephedra altissima or Chaetocladus altissima

Ephedra altissima
Ephedra altissima
Ephedra altissima
Ephedra altissima