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Juniperus scopulorum (Rocky mountain juniper) | NPIN
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Juniperus scopulorum (Rocky mountain juniper)
Simpson, Benny

Juniperus scopulorum

Rocky Mountain juniper, Rocky Mountain red cedar

Cupressaceae (Cypress Family)

USDA Symbol: jusc2

USDA Native Status:

A columnar to somewhat rounded evergreen tree, Rocky Mountain juniper often supports several main stems. The juvenile foliage consists of pointed, white-coated needles. Adult, scale-like foliage varies in color from dark- to bluish- or light-green. Round, dark-blue, berry-like cones, covered with a whitish bloom, ripen in the second year. Mature size is from 30-40 ft. high with a spread of 3-15 ft. Bark is reddish-brown or gray and shedding.

A graceful ornamental, often with narrow crown of drooping foliage, several varieties differ in form and in leaf color. The aromatic wood is especially suited for cedar chests and is also used for lumber, fenceposts, and fuel. Wildlife eat the berries. This species is closely related to Eastern Redcedar (Juniperus virginiana L.), which has dark green foliage and berries that mature in one year.

 

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree
Leaf: Green
Flower:
Fruit: Blue
Size Class: 12-36 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May

Distribution

USA: AZ , CO , ID , MT , ND , NE , NM , NV , OK , OR , SD , TX , UT , WA , WY
Canada: AB , BC
Native Distribution: B.C. to AZ, e. to ND, w. TX & n. Mex.
Native Habitat: Rocky or sandy hillsides; mountains

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Cold Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Dry, rocky or sandy soils. Rocky Caliche type Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay.
Conditions Comments: Rocky Mountain juniper is slow-growing. It tolerates drought and salt spray but does not adapt to high humidity or high night temperatures. It is susceptible to juniper blight and serves as an alternate host for cedar apple rust.

Benefit

Use Ornamental: Attractive
Use Wildlife: Provides nesting site, cover, seeds for small mammals. Also attracts Cedar Waxwings, Northern Mockingbird, Evening Grosbeak as well as other species.
Attracts: Birds , Butterflies
Larval Host: Olive butterfly

Propagation

Description: Generally, nodal cuttings should be taken after several hard freezes although references point to any time from July to April. Hormone treatment improves rooting. Propagation is also possible by seed but is less reliable.
Seed Collection: Collect ripened fruits in fall or winter, clean by maceration, dry seeds, and store in sealed, refrigerated containers.
Seed Treatment: Warm stratification at 60 degrees for 45-90 days, followed by cold stratification will hasten germination.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

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From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Texas Discovery Gardens - Dallas, TX
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department - Austin, TX
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR

Bibliography

Bibref 355 - Landscaping with Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest (1991) Miller, G. O.
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 291 - Texas Wildscapes: Gardening for Wildlife (1999) Damude, N. & K.C. Bender

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Recommended Species Lists

Find native plant species by state. Each list contains commercially available species suitable for gardens and planned landscapes. Once you have selected a collection, you can browse the collection or search within it using the combination search.

View Recommended Species page

Additional resources

USDA: Find Juniperus scopulorum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Juniperus scopulorum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Juniperus scopulorum

Metadata

Record Modified: 2010-09-21
Research By: TWC Staff

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