Northwest Conifers

Rocky Mountain Juniper – Juniperus scopulorum Speaker

Rocky Mountain Juniper


USGS Distribution Map

Leaves: Scaled, in opposite pairs

Cones:  Small blue berry

Bark: Brown with shredded scales

Where: Dry areas in mountains east
of the Cascades


Leaves: The scale-like leaves are arranged in opposite pairs. They are green or gray-green, with no resin dots like those on Western Juniper.

Cones: The cones form small,soft, juicy berries that are blue and coated with a white film.

Bark: The bark is redish-brown. On larger trees, it breaks into flat ridges with long flaky scales.

Where it grows: Rocky Mountain Juniper is not common in the Northwest. It grows in a few mountainous dry areas in central Washington and the northeast coners of Oregon and Washington. It also grows throughout much of the Rocky Mountains.

Uses: There are several popular cultivars of this species. It is also a popular bonsai plant.

Names: The name scopulorum refers to "tree growing in rocky ground."




© 2012 Ken Denniston