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Any of a small but diverse phylum (Gnetophyta) of gymnosperm plants with some features similar to those of angiosperms, such as xylem with vessels, strobili resembling inflorescences, and the absence of archegonia. The genus Ephedra, well-known as a source of stimulant compounds, is classified among the gnetophytes.
any member of the division Gnetophyta, a small group of gymnospermous vascular plants that are represented by three living genera: Ephedra, Gnetum, and Welwitschia. There are 65 species in the genus Ephedra, 30 or more in Gnetum, but only one in Welwitschia. The three genera exhibit great diversity in the immense variety of form and size among the various species