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Juniperus californica Carrière
California juniper, Desert white cedar
Synonym(s): Juniperus cedrosiana, Juniperus cerrosianus, Juniperus pyriformis, Sabina californica
USDA Symbol: JUCA7
USDA Native Status: L48 (N)
A tree-like shrub, 10-15 ft. high, with stout, irregular stems and a broad, erect, open habit. Bark is ashy gray, foliage is bluish-gray and scale-like, and berry-like cones are bluish, turning reddish-brown.
Able to withstand heat and drought, this species extends farther down into the semidesert zone than other junipers and is important in erosion control on dry slopes. Indians used to gather the berries to eat fresh and to grind into meal for baking.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Shrub Leaf Retention: Evergreen Leaf Arrangement: Opposite Leaf Complexity: Simple Breeding System: Dioecious Inflorescence:
Terminal Fruit Type:
Berry-like cones are bluish, turning reddish-brown. Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Time: Mar , Apr , May
Bloom Notes: Male flowers and female flowers are on separate trees.
, NV Native Distribution:
Mts. of CA,
& w. AZ; also Mex. Native Habitat:
Dry, alkaline slopes & flats below 5000 ft.
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Dry, alkaline soils.
Conditions Comments: Very ornamental and drought-tolerant.
BenefitUse Wildlife: Provides food and shelter for a variety of wildlife.
PropagationDescription: Seed can be sown outdoors in fall or stratified and sown in spring. Seed germination is often poor, so a large quantity of seeds should be sown.
Seed Collection: Collect seeds from late summer through fall when it has turned its ripe color. Seed can be extracted by running the fruits through a macerator. Thoroughly dry and clean seeds to avoid mold and overheating. If not planting immediately, air dry before storing. Store in sealed containers at 20-40 degrees.
Seed Treatment: Stratify at 41 degrees for 30-120 days. Germination may also be prompted with burn treatment.
Commercially Avail: yes
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)
is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
- Santa Barbara, CANative Seed Network
- Corvallis, OR
Record Last Modified: 2011-08-17
Research By: TWC Staff