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Juniperus virginiana

This plant has poison characteristics. See below.
Common Name(s):
Eastern red cedar
Categories:
Native Plants, Poisonous Plants, Trees
Comment:

Juniperus virginiana, commonly called Eastern red cedar, is a broadly conical, sometimes columnar, dense, evergreen conifer with horizontal branching that typically grows to 30-65’ tall. Its gray to reddish-brown bark exfoliates in thin shreddy strips on mature trees. Its trunks are often fluted at the base.

The heartwood is light brown and aromatic and is commonly used for cedar chests. Wood is often used to make fence posts and rails as it is naturally rot resistant.

This tree is an easy to transplant, tough, dependable tree, but considered weedy by many gardeners     

Learn more about cultivars 'Globosa', 'Grey Owl', and 'Silver Spreader'.

Regions:  Mountian, Piedmont, Coastal Plains

Seasons of Interest: 

     Fruit/Seed/Nut:  Fall/winter

Wildlife Value: The Eastern red cedar proved winter cover.  It is a host plant for the Juniper Hairstreak butterfly.  Songbirds and small mammals eat the fruits.  This tree is moderately resistant to damage done by deer.

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems:  This tree is susceptible to twig blight and scale. Bagworms are also a problem. Mites may occur.

Description:
Evergreen tree; leaves opposite, awn- or awl-like in juvenile growth and scale-like and overlapping in mature growth; pollen cones small and yellowish on male trees; seed cones ("berries") bluish on female trees.
Height:
30-40 ft.
Flower:
This is a dioecious species (separate male and female trees). The female trees produce round, gray to blackish-green berry-like cones (1/4” diameter) that ripen in fall the first year.
Zones:
2-9
Habit:
Evergreen
Site:
The Eastern redcedar is easily grown in average, dry to moist, well-drained soils in full sun. It will tolerate a wide range of soils and growing conditions, from swamps to dry rocky glades. It prefers moist soils but is intolerant of constantly wet soils. It has the best drought resistance of any conifer native to the eastern U.S.
Texture:
Fine to medium
Form:
Upright; densely pyramidal; becomes irregular and slightly pendulous with age
Exposure:
Sun, part shade
Fruit:
Berry like cones
Family:
Cupressaceae
Origin:
USA, NC
Distribution:
Throughout
Poison Part:
Fleshy cones (resemble berries), leaves.
Poison Delivery Mode:
Ingestion
Symptoms:
Large amounts may cause diarrhea.
Edibility:
EDIBLE PARTS: Juniper tea can be made by placing a dozen young berryless twigs in a quart of cold water; bring to a boil then allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Strain and use as regular tea, in small quantities. SOURCE: Angier, B. 1974. Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants. Stackpole Books, Harrisburg, Pa, 255 pp.
Toxic Principle:
Volatile oils including thujone.
Severity:
CAUSES ONLY LOW TOXICITY IF EATEN.
Found in:
Forest or natural area in open, dry woods, weedy in disturbed areas in fields, pastures, fence rows; landscape cultivated as small tree, Christmas tree
Width:
10-20 ft.
Leaf:
The Eastern redcedar has Dark blue-green scale-like foliage. The foliage may turn brown-green in winter. Cultivars of this species often retain better foliage color in winter.
Tags:
tsc, butterflies, screen, landscape, songbirds, winter interest, deer resistant, evergreen

NCCES plant id: 1075

Juniperus virginiana Juniperus virginiana
Juniperus virginiana Juniperus virginiana
Juniperus virginiana Juniperus virginiana
Juniperus virginiana Juniperus virginiana
Nicholas A. Tonelli, CC BY - 2.0
Juniperus virginiana Juniperus virginiana
plantsforpermaculture, CC BY - 2.0
Juniperus virginiana 'Skyrocket' Juniperus virginiana
Forest and Kim Starr, CC BY - 2.0
Juniperus virginiana Juniperus virginiana
CameliaTWU, CC BY-NC-ND - 2.0
Juniperus virginiana Juniperus virginiana
JanetandPhil, CC BY-NC-ND - 2.0