Ephedra trifurca  Ephedra, Mormon Tea
SHRUB.  Largest Ephedra in southern Arizona, this is a tall disheveled-looking shrub with long, stringy, dark green branches that have no thorns or leaves.  The tough, leathery branches are segmented and break easiest at the joints.  Blooms in April-May, with male and female flowers on separate plants.  This odd genus has been placed in its own order, Gnetophytes, because of its unique and very primitive flowers.  Common in the Empires in dry desertscrub.
FAMILY:  Ephedraceae (Ephedra Family)