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Juniperus horizontalis Moench
Creeping Juniper, Creeping Savin
Cupressaceae (Cypress Family)
Synonym(s): Juniperus horizontalis var. argentea, Juniperus horizontalis var. douglasii, Juniperus horizontalis var. glauca, Juniperus horizontalis var. variegata, Juniperus hudsonica, Juniperus prostrata, Juniperus repens, Juniperus virginiana var. prostrata, Sabina horizontalis, Sabina prostrata
USDA Symbol: JUHO2
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), AK (N), CAN (N), SPM (N)
Creeping Juniper is a procumbent, mat-like, evergreen shrub, less than 1 ft. tall but up to 10 ft. wide. Long, trailing branches are covered with conspicuously glaucous, soft-textured, blue-green, scale-type foliage. Juvenile foliage is prickly. Dark blue, berry-like cones with a heavy, white bloom, persist through winter.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Fruit Type: Cone
Size Notes: Up to about 1 foot tall.
Fruit: Though technically incorrect, the seed cones are often referred to as berries.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Brown
Bloom Time: Apr , May
Bloom Notes: Flowers inconspicuous. Pollen cones cream to reddish brown.
DistributionUSA: AK , CT , IA , IL , MA , ME , MI , MN , MT , ND , NE , NH , NY , OH , RI , SD , VT , WI , WY
Canada: AB , MB , NB , NL , NS , ON , PE , SK
Native Distribution: N.S. to s.e. AK, s. to NY, MN, Black Hills, Rockies to CO & c. B.C.
Native Habitat: Open, dry areas; hillsides; wash areas
Growing ConditionsWater Use: High
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil pH: Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Drought Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Dry, rocky soils.
Conditions Comments: Creeping juniper withstands hot, dry situations but is very intolerant of shade and poor drainage. It is slow-growing, long-lived, and susceptible to juniper blight.
BenefitUse Wildlife: Very high.
Fragrant Foliage: yes
PropagationDescription: Generally, 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. Seed can be sown outdoors in fall or stratified and sown
Seed Collection: Collect ripened fruits in fall or winter, clean by maceration, dry seeds, and store in sealed, refrigerated containers.
Seed Treatment: Stratify at 41 degrees for 30-120 days.
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.
Mr. Smarty Plants says
Native plants of dune erosion control in Michigan
May 30, 2008
We care for Lake Michigan dune near our home in New Buffalo and would like to provide erosion control with native species that will also enhance the beauty of the dune with long lasting flowers. The ...
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National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
United States Botanic Garden - Washington, DC
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
Web ReferenceWebref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Juniperus horizontalis in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Juniperus horizontalis in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Juniperus horizontalis
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-02-15
Research By: TWC Staff