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Products > Ephedra tweediana
Ephedra tweediana - Tramontana

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Ephedraceae (Mormon-teas)
Origin: South America
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Golden
Bloomtime: Spring
Height: 6-10 feet
Width: 6-12 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 10-15 F
Ephedra tweediana (Tramontana) - A interesting climbing shrub with dark green wiry thin flexible jointed leafless branches that, with support, can grow to 12 feet or more and then arch outward and down with a thick trunk that is fissured and twisted. In early spring months (March in Santa Barbara) appear the golden primitive male reproductive structures (all of our plants are male) which are attractive against the green stems. Plant in full sun to light shade and irrigate little to abundantly. We have never seen damage on this plant and it is likely hardy to below 15 F. In our garden we have trained this plant up on a 10 foot tall metal pipe which it has grown above and reach 4 feet wide to keep it in bounds we power shear it back a bit every two years or so and it rebounds rapidly. In the Mildred Mathias Botanic Garden, on the campus of the University of California Los Angeles, this plant is grown without support and they note it to have a haystack-like form to 12 feet tall and wide. In Annie's Annuals catalog it is described as looking like "Cousin It" and it is noted that it will grow to 3 to 5 feet tall by 5 feet wide. It seems to have taken this form along the slopes of Putah Creek in the UC Davis Arboretum where a group has been planted as a large scale shrubby groundcover. However it is grown, this plant is sure to attract attention as it does when visitors see our large towering plant. Our thanks to Dylan Hannon, now the curator of the Huntington Garden Conservatory, who gave us this strange yet interestingly attractive plant in 1997. Dylan got his original cutting of this plant from the Mildred Mathias Botanic Garden.  The information on this webpage is based on research conducted about this plant in our nursery library, from online sources, as well as from observations made of it as it grows in the nursery in containers, in the nursery's garden and in other gardens where we have observed it growing. We will also incorporate comments received from others and welcome getting feedback from those who may have additional information, particularly if this information includes cultural information that would aid others in growing  Ephedra tweediana.