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ecoRidge | all galleries >> Endangered Species Mandalas >> Imperiled Species Mandalas >> Plants >> Trees and Shrubs > junhor4620i_Juniper Maze_Creeping Juniper
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junhor4620i_Juniper Maze_Creeping Juniper

junhor4620i_Juniper Maze_Creeping Juniper

Creeping Juniper (Juniperus horizontalis)

Cypress Family (Cupressaceae)
Creeping Juniper is an evergreen, mat-forming, prostrate to low-growing shrub, reaching 0.5-2 ft tall, but spreading 10-20 ft wide. The slow-growing stems are slender and the reddish brown bark exfoliates in thin strips. Branches creep laterally along the ground, while the branchlets are erect. The small green to blue-green leaves are of two types scale-like and awl-like. The scaly leaves are opposite to sometimes whorled, found in a four rank pattern, overlap, and appressed to the stem. Awl-like leaves are opposite, more spreading, and sharply pointed. Leaves may turn reddish purple in the winter. Male and female flowers occur on different plants. The yellowish brown male cones are small and shed their pollen in early spring. The rounded blue-black to brownish blue female cones are berry-like, usually have a whitish bloom, soft, and resinous. They take about 2 growing seasons to mature and usually have recurved stalks. Found on sand dunes, sandy and gravelly soils, prairies, slopes, rock outcrops, and stream banks in northern North America. Is salt-tolerant and not shade tolerant. Can live over 100 years. Over 100 cultivars are used as ornamental plants. Also known as creeping cedar, creeping savin, prostrate juniper, and trailing juniper.

Listed as Endangered in IL, NH, & NY; and Threatened in IA & VT.

Copyright Brett Miley


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