Juniperus communis L.
Cupressaceae (Cypress Family)
USDA Symbol: JUCO6
Although commonly a tree in Eurasia, Common Juniper is only rarely a small tree in New England and other northeastern States. In the West, it is a low shrub, often at timberline. Including geographic varieties, this species is the most widely distributed native conifer in both North America and the world. Juniper berries are food for wildlife, especially grouse, pheasants, and bobwhites. They are an ingredient in gin, producing the distinctive aroma and tang.
From the Image Gallery
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr
DistributionUSA: AK , AL , AZ , CA , CO , CT , DE , GA , IA , ID , IL , IN , KY , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MT , NC , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NM , NV , NY , OH , OR , PA , RI , SC , SD , UT , VA , VT , WA , WI , WV , WY
Canada: AB , BC , MB , NB , NL , NS , ON , PE , QC , SK
Native Distribution: Widespread from Alaska east to Labrador and S. Greenland, south to New York, and west to Minnesota and Wyoming; also south in mountains to NW. South Carolina and central Arizona; also Iceland and across N. Eurasia; to 8000-11,5000 (2438-3505 m) in south.
Native Habitat: Rocky slopes in coniferous forests of mountains and plains.
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Sandy
BenefitUse Food: EDIBLE PARTS: Berries used to flavor gin and for cooked meats and red cabbage. Crushed berries make nice seasoning. 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
Fragrant Foliage: yes
Find Seed or Plants
Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.
View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.
Mr. Smarty Plants says
Flowering and evergreen shrubs for landscape in Indiana
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Shrubs for playground barrier hedge in Darien CT
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From the National Suppliers DirectoryAccording to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:
American Native Nursery - Quakertown, PA
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
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 resourcesUSDA: Find Juniperus communis in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Juniperus communis in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Juniperus communis
MetadataRecord Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff