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sagiXsagi

Ephedra sp. cultivation notes and discussion

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On 25/10/2020 at 5:08 AM, nagual78 said:

Hi just reading the thread.This was one of my favourite herbs. Id love one for my collection, e. sinica was the one. Any leads to buy established plants?

Any help would be much appreciated.

 

there are few nurseries in usa that offer some plants , usually nevadensis and few nurseries in europe usually offering distachya.  

but australia?? maybe you should try your luck in the trade section, make a thread asking for a plant. 

 

otherwise, you should get good seed.  I usually have some seed. PM me 

 

all in all distachya is the easiest to grow and propagate because fast and grow suckers all the time.. sinica is much slower 

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I am pretty happy to announce that my bigger seed grown sinica, a male that flowered last year for the first time,  has done its first suckers / side shoots.. It must be 4-5 years old.  Its also starting to get into vegetative growth again, very excited, its very interesting to see the plant at this phase. 

PS: my other sinica which was started from rooted cutting does sideshoots/suckers regularly every year making it easy to make more plants

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Edited by sagiXsagi
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and here is equisettina which was started from rooted cutting and that hasnt grown a lot, starting to grow again after the very mild winter we had overall .. I have high hopes for this years growth! 

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big distachya reacting like a champ to the repotting in even bigger pot 

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yet another photo update 

 

My E. altissima, a generally unknown species from morocco, north africa that seems to be a climber - crawler but is pretty different  (f.e. more slender) than the local foeminea , has been pretty active, and I repotted one of them, and I saw today the other is making strobili (its a male) 

 

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E. sinica growing from a myriad point plus growing a side shoot 

 

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E. nevadensis , a new attampt, young plant that is still not over that seedling stage

 

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E. chiloensis branches 

 

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E.major and mangragora automnalis 

 

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Such an interesting plant!

 

How old is the sincia in the pictures above?

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On 06/04/2021 at 5:04 AM, fydesvindico said:

Such an interesting plant!

 

How old is the sincia in the pictures above?

 

 

that sinica plant is ~ 5 years old from seed. here it is today , it always comes back strong when doing new vegetative growth

 

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I just got altissima hard:wink:

Good work Sagi

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5 years! Hectic. Slow growing plants hey. I remember there was a member on here years ago who posted up some pics of monster plants! (Might have been pH) they must have been ancient!

 

Good work, I love the fact that there are people keeping this plant alive!

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On 21/04/2021 at 11:44 PM, fydesvindico said:

5 years! Hectic. Slow growing plants hey. I remember there was a member on here years ago who posted up some pics of monster plants! (Might have been pH) they must have been ancient!

 

Good work, I love the fact that there are people keeping this plant alive!

 

sinica for me looks its best when it has done all veg growth for the season.. its still growing and it keeps producing flowering stalks now..  I will soon post more pictures... yes I think you mean ph plants.. 

 

distachya is faster as a species. 

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My equisetina at last seems to wake up strong. Growth looks completely sinica-like in my eyes perhaps a bit more errect/thicker branches. green segments are new growth - blue segments are older branches. 

 

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E. chiloensis cone is pretty interesting and distinct from other species.. Unfortunately my two biggy specimens are both male. Still hoping on a female on other two smaller ones.  

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chiloensis has nice big strobili. both of my biggy plants are in full flowering mode. last year it was only a reluctant bloom. 

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this I call my ebay sinica, bought as rooted sucker. I uppotted this to take a couple nice big tufts with some root. First time I use so big tufts to creat new plant and I reckon it will be faster than using smaller suckers. showing the mother plant before taking the suckers out and the 2 big tufts repotted. 

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This is my big seed grown sinica, many flowers stalks, still going 

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And this is foeminea made from rooted suckers taken from natural occuring plants here.  it had grown a bit but I neglected watering it in summer and it died back a lot, now it has been doing much better and is almost where it was before the drying out. 

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SagiXsagi, thank you again, this is still one of my favourite threads. Hope I can grow lovely plants like yours one day

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On 17/06/2021 at 8:30 AM, Darklight said:

SagiXsagi, thank you again, this is still one of my favourite threads. Hope I can grow lovely plants like yours one day

 

thanks.. Distachya is an easy species, really. The easiest by far. 

 

here's some more updates 

 

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2 female  distachyas,  and closeup of the fruits/cones

 

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2 x sinicas , the left one of still unknown sex

 

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equisetina, like I said in previous post,  this year it shows its bigger than sinica phenotype , after refusing to really grow for a couple years 

 

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nebrodensis / major 

 

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SEASONAL / GENERAL  UPDATE:   

Despite a great and lasting heat wave this summer, the plants were okey protected in a bright shady spot on my roof. Reaching september and the heat wave leaving, the distachyas started growing and as soon as a cool wave in mid september hit,  the went full on veg mode and even went to start a second flowering session! So now I have brought them to more light 

 

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The sinicas remain the most stubborn in their growth.

 

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Equisetina are similar with sinica in all their habit, a bit slower but with a taller pheno and noticeably bluer - the bluest of the species I have grown. 

 

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nebrodensis with the appropriate pruning is the most handsome of the species I have grown as an ornamental plant and also its remarkably hardy in my climate

 

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Edited by sagiXsagi
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They all look amazing sagi, i love the nebrodensis, the equisetina too.

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despite the stressed look, my bigger sinica has been developing bigger year after year, there are so many flowers this time.. Hopefully the last one which is flowering for the first time is female, or I am stuck with 4-5  male plants :( 

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Posted (edited)

RETROSPECTIVE / UPDATES  ,  March 2022 

 

INTRO : 

I have recently re-started itching my longterm ephedra project. While I have compiled a photo archive and have an excellent compilation of ephedra papers , some of them printed on paper, I left the studying project to sleep for the past years and I only kept growing some species. At some point I had projected that this ephedra monograph superproject I had in mind would last 4-5 years.. I am laughing now... Well, 5 years was the first wave, I now feel I am on the begining of the 2nd wave. The highlight of my new phase is that I discovered a local Ephedra distachya  remnant population  (see a separate thread about that) which was additionally severely damaged from fire (but even burnt plants seem to resprout) which is a separate project in itself, as the habitat is in a close-to-extinction- stage, and also that this is the most southernmost distachya in greece that I know, other know habitats being far up to the north coastline, so it was quite surprising. I intend to monitor the regeneration of the plants and explore more the area to find more spots of this remnant population, in an old river delta, among heavy human interference and civilization.. I also fantasise about finding a local scientist to push the cause for studying my find,  try to pretect it and perhaps collaborating with the ephedra academics doing stuff in greece. Oh well, one can dream, cant he???  At the very least, I am all for doing the fucking work for free, but I will get a mention in the paper that I was a helper god damn it!  hehe

 

PLANT/SPECIES/CULTIVATION UPDATE + SMALL RETROSPECTIVE:

 

the plan was to grow as many species as I could, side by side, so as I could determine best and first hand a better taxonomic understanding via  cultivation notes.  I stupidly lost my  ephedra minuta/minor  plants when I pushed too hard to propagate via suckers in the wrong substrate . Hopefully I will make new plants from the seeds I got when one female plant went hermie.  I have lost my viridis and nevadensis plants, propably due to the same substrate issue.. I am now growing another nevadensis 1.5 year old, still looks pathetic, lol . I am hoping that the last, 3rd chiloensis will be female, and the same goes for the last flowering sinica, I am hoping for a female plant...  Its a cool extra new feature, trying to get both sexes in a species, makes collecting more challenging... 

 

The substrate for species minuta/minor, sinica, equisetina, any american species  should rather be more sandy/clay/cactus type substrate .. The substrate for distachya, major, fragilis, foeminea and any other climber-crawler, you can use a more common commercial soil for plants, it can be much more nutricious.. or some mix of the two. 

 

PRO TIP:  I have found a source in europe for cheap small plantlets of ephedra intermedia and ephedra feldschenkoi, rarely offered plants in any form.  PM me if you are interested. 

 

 

FRAGILIS DISCLAIMERS:  In the past in this thread, I have refered  to a greek form of foeminea as   fragilis,  cf fragilis or foeminea ssp fragilis.. Let me set this straight : theres is no fragilis in greece.. fragilis is reported from spain and morocco.  Ephedra fragilis is a lookalike with Ephedra major ...   Ephedra nebrodensis is the same (synonym) as major.  There's a lot more taxonomic confusion with ephedra descriptions, especially from the mediteranean area, but I wont go into that. One of the reasons I made up that name and involved the name fragilis as a nickname for one of the local foeminea types, was one becasue it was "fragile" like fragilis description and two because I had begun to understand that fragilis is a problematic species throughout ephedra taxonomy and at the time I was leaning towards the position it might not be a true species, that it might be a misnomer, especially seeing the similarities with major.  

 

 

NEW EPHEDRA SCIENCE UPDATES+ NOTES + NEW SPECULATIONS  :  leading worldwide ephedra expert and one of my personal heros, swedish acedemic last 2021 paper finds that more and different research is needed. She finds that maybe foeminea was not the most ancient and sister-to-all-other-species after all... New and more detailed variations of the calculations show that major is the most ancient sister to all now ...  I wont pretend I understand phyllogenetics, but the papers implies that  introgression and / or hybridisation events could have been a part of ephedras evolution history, and of course this turnt me on because I am allready very much into the hybridisation and speciation events in baja california among Ferocactus species...  I am not scientist per se, but I really think (and so do some scientists )  that hybridisation events is an underappreciated factor in speciation, and how wonderful and fascinating concept speciation is !!!  thats why I am so much into taxonomy, I think there's magic behind it all! 

 

research in south american species is advancing too,  but I am not too read up in this. hopefully in the future seeds from south american species will be more available for us freeks that wanna make ephedra gardens with different species side to side.. 

 

Cheers,  grow on and stray true!

Edited by sagiXsagi

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After some years from seed, around 4-6 years, sinica does suckers. Thats why one should not plant them in containers with holes at the sides  (of course the same goes for distachya) . Waiting for the last seed grown sinica to reveal its sex, hoping its a female this time.  

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Hey mate, loving this this epic discussion thread of yours, I'll have some time to finally read through it properly very soon.

 

Just a quick question for anyone who may know, -Is it OK to use water trays with Ephedras? As-in the water collection trays under the pot. To give them better access to moisture and stop them drying out as fast. 

 

Sorry if this is a complete noob question, but yeah it's definitely not an area I have much knowledge in.

 

Cheers for the help

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Posted (edited)
On 20/04/2022 at 5:27 PM, Halcyon Daze said:

Hey mate, loving this this epic discussion thread of yours, I'll have some time to finally read through it properly very soon.

 

Just a quick question for anyone who may know, -Is it OK to use water trays with Ephedras? As-in the water collection trays under the pot. To give them better access to moisture and stop them drying out as fast. 

 

 

Thanks for kind words. To be honest I had never thought about that, and its a pretty damn interesting point. 

 

You see, once ephedras are of a certain size and above they are quite easy-going and the only problem is a potential drying out,  if you forget watering them in the summer months, especially in dry and hot summers. So, going from how much they like being in big containers, I would say that maybe that could be cool tip.  In summer put most of mine in a spot that gets bright shade in the noon and they tolerate the summer much better there.  I might try your idea this summer with some plants! 

 

******

 

Oh well, the 3rd seed grown sinica proved another male, and this means I have 4 different male sinica plants, including the 3 seed growns and the one I got from ebay as a rooted sucker.  The quest for a female continues!  Here are the 3 seed growns, the one in the right is still growing and hasnt fully bloomed.   Oh, the other day I saw my last chiloensis to have formed cone buds, still hoping for a female in that front! 

 

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some pretty cool pictures from my equisetina, showing new growth which makes a nice contrast with the older blue segments , and making sucker-offshoots! seems I might be able to propagate it next year

 

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Edited by sagiXsagi
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Good news , the last chiloensis turnt up a female (see pic) , so I am hopeful for seed this season! 

 

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Also check out a couple of pictures from the equisetina explosion of growth, which I de-weeded today. 

 

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i think, one can't give advice to ephedras in general, as they come from very different latitudes and climatic zones because of elevation.

some grow in the desert, like nevandesis.

some high up in the alps like helvetia.

some grow close to the seashores.

asking, 'might a saucer help', could be answered with yes, for some plants, under some circumstances and no for others.

many ephedras i did grow at my location died, either because, they did not like the extreem heat, or it was not cold enough for them.

sagi's location allows many ephedras to flourish, whilst mine favors only a few.

one thing is for sure, they all like good drainage, and can die after heavy rain causes water to remain in a spot.

those ephedras grew the fastes in my garden, but monsoonal rains killed them after 5 years.

btw, the university botanical garden in vienna has some minimas which set seed regularly, they got as well a helvetia (sorry to use this term) but i never seen fruit on it.

 

ephedras are living fossils, and even more special than ginko biloba, we can learn a lot about evolution when studying ephedras.

 

WE NEED TO PROTECT THOSE EPHEDRAS, EVEN IF THE LAWS SAY WE HAVE TO DESTROY THEM. FUTURE GENERATIONS WILL HAIL OUR FORSIGHT!!!:excl:

i don't think fragilis and major are the same.

my 2m tall big plants are maybe 16-17 years old and at least one of them came from some seeds torsten did sell via  his shop.

a very good methode to get an idea about ephedras is to taste them.

i once did this at kew gardens, which do have a very big ephedra collection, you can test, one ephedra sample every 15 min or so.

take a few stalks and chew them thorougly, watch out for taste sensation and effects.

i believe that ephedra alkaloids have never been investigated in detail, and many surprises and discoveries will be made by future genarations.

 

i suffer from hayfever and globus sensation, ephedrin is only one of very few substances that can help me.

unfortunately the tga and  lawmakers, don't care if ther restrictions of ephedrin, causes me suffering. they believe the alternatives are even better, but they ar useless for me.

if you suffer from a condition where ephedrin is the best, than good luck of recieving help. all doctors get brain washed by the pharmas, and are delusional when it comes to many drugs.

they think, IF IT CAN BE A DRUG THAT CAN GET ABUSED, IT HAS TO BE A BAD DRUG!! THOSE IDIOTS. EDUCATE, DON'T MAKIE IT ILLEGAL!!

I DON'T USE EPHEDRIN OFTEN, DON'T EVEN LIKE IT, AS IT GIVES ME AT TIMES TRACHYCARDIA.

 

I AM LOOKING FOR EPHEDRA SINICA SEEDS, I HAD A GOOD SIZE PLANT, BUT RAN THE MOWER OVER IT, and it did not come back.

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