Juniperus communis L.

  • Authority

    Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.

  • Family

    Cupressaceae

  • Scientific Name

    Juniperus communis L.

  • Description

    Species Description - Lvs in whorls of 3, jointed at the base, crowded, linear, loose or spreading, pungent, 6–18 mm, with a median white stripe above; cones axillary, bluish or black, 6–13 mm thick, mostly 3-seeded. Circumboreal, s. in Amer. to Pa., Wis., Minn., the Rocky Mt. states, and irregularly to S.C. and s. Ind. Nearly all of our plants belong to the var. depressa Pursh, the common Amer. phase of the sp.; decumbent but not prostrate, forming flat-topped circular patches mostly 0.5–2 m tall and several m wide; lvs spreading or ascending, mostly straight, (6)10–18 mm, the white stripe narrower than each margin; mostly in dry, rocky, or otherwise poor soil; occasional more arborescent specimens, with a ± definite central axis, have been mistaken for the arborescent Eurasian var. communis, which has the white stripe on the lvs at least as broad as each margin. The high-northern, circumboreal var. montana Aiton reaches only the ne. margin of our range, as on the coast of N.S. and the coast and mts. of n. Me.; it is prostrate or nearly so and trailing, with oblong, abruptly short-pointed, incurved and imbricate lvs 6–10 mm, these with a broad white stripe, evidently wider than each margin (var. alpina; var. saxatilis, misapplied; J. sibirica; J. nana).

  • Common Names

    common juniper