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Juniperus communis var. saxatilis Pallas
Common juniper, Dwarf juniper
Synonyms: Juniperus communis var. montana
USDA Symbol: JUCOS2
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
A very low, spreading shrub, 1-3 ft. tall and 6 or more ft. across. The rigid, steely, blue-gray needles are short-pointed. Berries are bright blue with a white bloom.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Shrub Fruit: Size Class:
CA , OR , WA Canada: NS
, PE Native Distribution:
Greenland to AK, s. to Nf. & mts. of Que., n. ME, CO & CA Native Habitat:
Stony, open or lightly wooded slopes; often at high elevations USDA Native Status: L48(N), CAN(N),
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement:
Sun Soil Description:
Exposed, rocky places. Conditions Comments:
The species J. communis is most widely distributed native
conifer in the world. Extremely hardy and adaptable to diverse soil and climatic conditions. Susceptible to juniper blight.
BenefitUse Wildlife: Valuable wildlife habitat & food.
Use Food: EDIBLE PARTS: Berries used to flavor gin and for cooked meats and red cabbage. Juniper tea can be made by placing a dozen young berryless twigs in a quart of cold water.
Warning: POISONOUS PARTS: Fleshy cones (resemble berries), leaves.Toxic Principle:Volatile oils including thujone.
Interesting Foliage: yes
PropagationDescription: This species propatates readily from heel cuttings. Hormone treatment improves rooting. Propagation is also possible by seed, which matures the second or third year after pollination. Seed can be sown outdoors in fall or stratified and sown in spring.
Seed Collection: Collect ripened fruits in fall or winter, clean by maceration, dry seeds, and store in sealed, refrigerated containers.
Seed Treatment: Warm treatment followed by cold stratification is beneficial.
Commercially Avail: yes
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Record Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff