Juniperus communis

  • BOTANICAL NAME: Juniperus communis
  • PRONUNCIATION: ju–NIP–er–us  cuh–MUN–is
  • COMMON NAME: Common Juniper
  • FAMILY: Cupressaceae
  • NATIVITY: Throughout much of the world’s temperate areas. Native in the United States from New England south to North Carolina.
  • GROWTH HABIT: Small to medium-sized tree, but cultivars vary widely. The growth habit of the cultivars varies widely, from procumbent ground covers, to broad shrubs, to conical and columnar small trees.
  • SIZE: The species grow to 45’ but the more typically grown cultivars vary from procumbent to 15’ tall.
  • HARDINESS: Zone 2 - 6.
  • CULTURE: Full sun and well-drained soils are ideal, but the plant will also thrive in poor, rocky soils. This is a tough plant for windy, harsh sites.
  • LANDSCAPE USE: Landscape use depends on the form of the particular cultivar. Can be used as ground cover or mass in harsh sites with poor soils. Best reserved for these difficult sites, as other plants will give better display in better sites.
  • FOLIAGE: Individual leaves are always needlelike, 1/8” to 5/8” long. Leaves are concave on the upper surface with a broad white band that may be separated by a green mid-vein at the base of the leaf.
  • BUDS:No obvious buds.
  • BARK: Young stems are triangular in cross section. Mature bark is reddish brown.
  • FRUIT: Female cone is spherical approximately 3/8” in diameter, dark blue or black and covered with a waxy bloom. Plants are typically dioecious.
  • PROPAGATION: Seed, or cuttings for cultivars, sometimes grafted.
  • PESTS: None serious.
  • CULTIVARS: ‘Prostrata’:  Procumbent form that is approximately 1’ tall and 4’ to 6’ wide.



University of Delaware

University of Delaware Botanic GardensNewark, DE 19716Phone: 302 831-0153