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Juniperus monosperma (Oneseed juniper)
Anderson, Wynn

Juniperus monosperma

Juniperus monosperma (Engelm.) Sarg.

Oneseed Juniper, One-seed Juniper, Cherrystone Juniper, New Mexico Juniper, West Texas Juniper

Cupressaceae (Cypress Family)

Synonym(s): Juniperus occidentalis var. gymnocarpa, Sabina monosperma


USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

One-seed Juniper is a large shrub or small tree, usually 6-20 ft., with a gnarled, multi-trunked appearance in the wild. Larger branches usually arise from below ground level. Bark is thin, scaly and ashy. Fragrant foliage is scale-like on mature twigs; needle-like on juvenile shoots and seedlings. Bluish-black to copper-colored fruits occur on the female plants.

This abundant juniper is one of the most common small trees in New Mexico. The wood is important for fenceposts and fuel, and Indians used to make mats and cloth from the fibrous bark. Birds and mammals consume the juicy "berries", and goats browse the foliage.


From the Image Gallery

9 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Fruit Type: Cone
Size Notes: Up to about 40 feet tall, often shorter.
Leaf: Dark Green
Fruit: Though technically incorrect, the seed cones are often referred to as berries.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Orange
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr


USA: AZ , CO , NM , OK , TX
Native Distribution: W. TX, w. to s.e. CO & AZ; also mts. of n. Mex.
Native Habitat: Steep slopes; rocky ledges; arroyos; dry plains & hills

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Part Shade
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Gravelly or sandy, dry soils
Conditions Comments: A cold-, wind-, and drought-tolerant juniper. Provides shelter for wildlife and less-tolerant plants. Invades disturbed sites. Susceptible to mistletoe (prune it out).

From the National Organizations Directory

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

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department - Austin, TX


Bibref 298 - Field Guide to Texas Trees (1999) Simpson, B.J.
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 3 - Flora of North America (2014) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2023-03-23
Research By: TWC Staff

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