Ephedra is a group of plants. It is the only one in its family, Ephedraceae. Ephedra species are found naturally in many places, like southwestern North America, southern Europe, northern Africa, southwest and central Asia, northern China and western South America.
Ephedra species often grow in the temperate zone. They often grow on shores or sandy places where they get a lot of sunlight. In English, they are often called joint-pine, jointfir, Mormon-tea. In Chinese, it is called mahuang (simplified Chinese: 麻黄; traditional Chinese: 麻黃; pinyin: máhuáng; Wade–Giles: ma-huang; literally: "hemp yellow").