Turkistan Jointfir
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Turkistan Jointfir
P Native Unknown Photo: N Arun Kumar
Common name: Turkistan Jointfir
Botanical name: Ephedra regeliana    Family: Ephedraceae (Joint-Pine family)
Synonyms: Ephedra pulvinaris

Turkistan Jointfir is a very small subshrub, up to 8-15 cm, lacking prominent, woody stems above ground, only with several woody basal branches 1-2 cm; main branches usually inprominent; branchlets clustered at nodes, radially arranged, slender and short, about 1 mm in diameter, internodes 1-2 cm, tip slightly curved. It is named for Eduard August von Regel, 19th century German botanist and superintendent of the botanic garden at St. Petersburg, Russia. Leaves are opposite, fused for 1/2-2/3 their length, tip pointed or slightly blunt. Male strobili are 2‑3 whorled, ellipsoid, 2-6 x 2-4 mm; bracts in 4-6 pairs; staminal column protruding at tip, with 6 to 8 shortly stipitate anthers. Seed cones are opposite at nodes or clustered at tip of branchlets, ovoid or broadly ovoid, about 5 x 3-4 mm at maturity; bracts usually in 3 pairs, apical pair fused for about 5/6 their length or more, red and fleshy at maturity. Turkistan Jointfir is found on rocky slopes, flood lands and sandy places, at altitudes of 700-3800 m, in Afghanistan, Pakistan, West Himalaya, and an area historically called Turkistan, loosely consisting of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan.

Identification credit: N Arun Kumar Photographed in Phyang, Ladakh.

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