Page author: Don Knoke
Juniperus communis
common juniper, mountain juniper

Distribution: Much of Canada and the United States

Habitat: Lowland woods to mountain valleys and open, rocky alpine slopes

Cones: April - May

Origin: Native

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Prostrate, dioecious shrub or small tree 1-3 m. tall.


The bark very thin, reddish-brown, shredding and scaly.


Leaves mostly in 3u00e2u20acu2122s, needle-like to narrowly lanceolate, stiff and pungent, 7-12 mm. long, jointed at the base of the free portion, concave and whitish on the lower surface, dark green above.


Staminate cones ovoid, 3-5 mm. long, with 12-16 stamens; ovulate cones maturing the second season, berry-like, bluish-black, 6-9 mm. long, 1- to 3-seeded.

Accepted Name:
Juniperus communis L.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 2: 1040. 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
var. depressa – common juniper, dwarf juniper, ground juniper, prostrate juniper
var. jackii – Jack's common juniper, Jack's mat juniper   Known from a single collection west of the Cascades crest in western Skamania County in Washington; Mount Hood in northern Oregon to northwestern California.
var. kelleyi    Washington to California
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Juniperus communis in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Juniperus communis checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Juniperus communis atlas page.

CalPhotos: Juniperus communis photos.

USDA Plants: Juniperus communis information.

22 photographs:
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