Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 63: 351. 1936.
Shrubs rhizomatous, forming clumps, erect, 0.25–1.5 m, 3–5 m diam. Bark redbrown, cracked and irregularly fissured. Branches alternate or whorled, becoming rigid, angle of divergence about 25°. Twigs bright green, becoming yellow-green with age, not viscid, ridges between longitudinal grooves papillate, slightly scabrous; internodes 2–5 cm. Terminal buds conic, 1–3 mm. Leaves opposite, 2–5 mm, connate to 1/2–3/4 their length; bases thickened, brown, persistent, becoming hard, enlarged, and black; apex acute. Pollen cones 2–several at node, obovoid, 4–6 mm, on very short, scaly peduncles (rarely sessile); bracts opposite, 5–9 pairs, light yellow, ovate, 2–4 × 2–3 mm, membranous, slightly connate at base; bracteoles slightly exceeding bracts; sporangiophores 2–4 mm, 1/4 exserted, with 5–7 sessile to short-stalked (less than 1 mm) microsporangia. Seed-cones 2–several at node, obovoid to nearly globose, 7–15 mm, on smooth peduncles, 5–25 mm, with 1 pair of basal and 1 pair of nearly terminal bracts, at least in early cones; bracts opposite, 3–4 pairs, ovate to circular, 5–8 × 5–12 mm, inner pairs becoming fleshy (at least centrally) and orange at maturity. Seeds 2, ellipsoid, 5–8 × 2–4 mm, brown to chestnut, smooth.
Phenology: Coning March–April.
Habitat: Sandy, semiarid areas
Elevation: 500–2300 m
In New Mexico Ephedra coryi occurs only in an isolated population in the San Andreas Mountains and represents the shorter extreme (5–10 mm) in the range of peduncle length.