common juniper Cupressaceae Juniperus
communis L. symbol: JUCO6
Leaf: Persistent, linear-lanceolate (sword-like), about 1/3 to 1/2 inch long, and ternate (arranged in whorls of 3); white stomatal bloom above and green below; sessile (no petiole).
Flower: Species is mostly dioecious, rarely monoecious; male cones small, yellow and solitary; female cones small, round and solitary.
Fruit: Cones are small (about 1/4 inch diameter) and round with smooth, leathery scales; green when young and bluish black when mature, but always covered with white bloom, require 3 growing seasons to mature.
Twig: Slender, smooth, and often shiny; triangular between the nodes.
Bark: Mature bark is thin (less than 1/4 inch thick), shreddy, and red- to gray-brown.
Form: Most commonly grow as prostrate, mat-forming shrubs, but sometimes as upright shrubs or small trees.
Looks like: Chinese juniper - creeping juniper - Ibuki juniper - shore juniper
Additional Range Information: Juniperus communis is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. Download the full-size PDF map.
External Links: USDAFS FEIS Silvics - USDA Plants Database
All material © 2021 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson; Silvics reprinted from Ag Handbook 654; range map source information