Mormon Tea, Ephidra viridis, is a wide spread native shrub in the desert Southwest. Growing wild in many arroyos.
Grows to about 4 feet high, requires full sun and is very heat, drought and cold tolerant.
Mainly grown for it's foliage, the plant doesn't look like it has any leaves, but it actually does have small, scale-like leaves and tiny flower cones.
Mormons make a tea from the plant and use it as an energy drink in place of caffeine. The Mormon, Brigham Young is said to have encouraged the Mormons to use the tea for certain ailments. The plant is also called Brigham Tea.
Ephidra has also been used in weight loss drugs and there was some controversy regarding it's use in recent years.
Mormon Tea is a great plant for the desert Southwest Xeriscape, requires very little water.