alligator juniper Cupressaceae Juniperus deppeana
Leaf:Evergreen, scale-like, sharp and long pointed, most are tight to the twig in opposite pairs resulting in a slightly square twig, a few are awl-like and point away from the twig; bluish green, often with a whitish resin dot on backside.
Flower:Species is dioecious; males are small pale yellow in large clusters at ends of twigs; females are small, round pale green.
Fruit:Berry-like cones, round, 1/2 inch in diameter, reddish brown often with white glaucous bloom, scales often with a blunt point, 3 to 5 seeds per cone; mature in two growing seasons.
Twig:Slender, initially covered with green scale-like leaves and somewhat angular, later turning reddish brown.
Bark:Very unique, in that it develops nearly square blocking plates, giving it a checkered pattern (alligator-like). Square patches are dark gray with nearly black fissures; younger branches have scaly bark.
Form:Medium sized tree reaching up to 55 feet tall and 1 to 2 feet in diameter; short trunk with a wide spreading crown.