Etymology
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ephedra (n.)

genus of low, branchy desert shrubs, 1914, from Modern Latin (1737) from Greek ephedra, a name given by Pliny to the horsetail, literally "sitting upon," from fem. of ephedros "sitting or seated upon; sitting at or near," from epi "on" (see epi-) + hedra "seat, base, chair; face of a geometric solid," from PIE root *sed- (1) "to sit." The reason for the name is not known.

updated on April 17, 2017

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Definitions of ephedra from WordNet

ephedra (n.)
jointed and nearly leafless desert shrub having reduced scalelike leaves and reddish fleshy seeds;
Synonyms: joint fir
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.