65. Ephedra gerardiana Wallich ex Stapf EPHEDRACEAE

Hindi: Somlata, सोमलता

Photograph of Ephedra gerardiana in wild in Nepal

A dwarf Himalayan shrub, which occurs at high altitudes of up to 5,200 metres. Although it looks rather like a horse-tail (Equisetum sp.) it is a gymnosperm and related to the conifers. It is an important medicinal plant and the juice of the fleshy red ‘berries’ of the female plant is the source of the drug ephedrine, which is used in the treatment of asthma. The specific name commemorates Patrick Gerard one of three brothers from Aberdeen who was an East India Company army officer (of the others one was a surgeon, the other a surveyor).

     

    RBGE Living Collections Accession Factsheet
    Accession Number:19491051
    Scientific Name:Ephedra gerardiana Wall. ex Stapf
    Family:Ephedraceae
    Genus:Ephedra
    Epithet:gerardiana
    Collector:Polunin, Oleg Vladimir
    Year:2020
    Origin:Nepal
    Plant:19491051A
    Location:/Living Collections/Inverleith/R13/ZE030
     Location: 55.963918621,-3.205748061