Juniperus- Juniper

Evergreen conifers; many species and forms are used in the garden.

Situation:

In a heath garden, as ground-cover, as specimen shrubs or in groups of mixed shrubs.

Soil:

Most species will tolerate poor, dry soil; only

Juniperus virginiana requires better, damper soil.

Propagation:

The species from seed; garden forms from cuttings taken in winter.

Juniperus chinensis: Dioecious tree, sharp needles, usually arranged in pairs, sometimes in groups of three; two white streaks on the upper surface. Small, blunt scales, contiguous. There are garden forms with green, golden-yellow, grey-green and blue-green foliage. ‘Pfitzeriana’ is a well known form; it has a spreading habit and appears to grow on different levels, the twigs drooping so markedly at the tip. Also available in golden yellow under the name ‘Pfitzeriana Aurea’. Juniperus communis, common juniper: Height to 5 m; sharp, awl-shaped needles to 1.5 cm long, with broad white streaks on the upper surface. Blue-bloomed cones. ‘Hibernica’ has an erect, narrow columnar habit; ‘Suecica’ has fine blue-grey colouring; here, too, the shape is narrow and columnar.

Juniperus horizontals: Height to 30 cm, its long shoots spread along the ground and it therefore makes excellent ground-cover. ‘Douglasii’ has steel-blue foliage, turning purple blue in winter; ‘Glauca’ has deep-bluish foliage. Juniperus sabina: Height to 3 m, usually prostrate, sometimes more erect habit. The twigs are almost square in shape, needles very small, often lacking entirely. When rubbed, the foliage has a disagreeable scent; it is very poisonous. ‘Hicksii’, grey blue, very spreading habit, the branches point obliquely upwards; ‘Tamariscifolia’, blue-green foliage, spreading to 1 m, frequently to 2 m across. Juniperus squamata: Height 25 cm, prostrate habit. Needles in groups of three, 2-4 mm long, blue white on the upper surface, green underneath; black cones. ‘Wilsonii’ may grow to a height of 2 m, pyramidal habit. Juniperus virginiana, red cedar: Thin twigs, pointed needles, 5 mm long, blue white on the upper surface. Pointed oval scales. ‘Skyrocket’ is a very narrow garden form, blue grey, to 3 m.

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