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Juniperus chinensis is often confused with:
Juniperus x pfitzeriana Juniperus x pfitzeriana
Juniperus x pfitzeriana 'Gold Coast'
Native alternative(s) for Juniperus chinensis:
Juniperus communis Juniperus communis
Juniperus virginiana Juniperus virginiana
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Juniperus chinensis 'Angelica Blue' Juniperus chinensis 'Angelica Blue'
Juniperus chinensis 'Blue Vase' Juniperus chinensis 'Blue Vase'
Salvia rosmarinus Rosmarinus officinalis
Juniperus chinensis has some other problems:
Cedar Apple Rust

Juniperus chinensis

Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Sabina chinensis
Phonetic Spelling
jew-NIP-er-us chi-NEN-sis
Description

Juniperus chinensis, known as Chinese Juniper, is an evergreen conifer native to eastern Asia including China, Mongolia, Japan, and the Himalayas.  This a bushy conical tree that can grow to heights of 50-60 feet spreading 15-20 feet.  However, its multiple varieties may have many forms and heights from low ground covers through shrubs, both small and large, to short or tall trees.  Therefore, it may be employed as a specimen plant to fill assorted landscape niches.  Most prefer sunny locations but will accept partial shade. This slow growing plant adapts to most soils from acidic to alkaline (pH5.0 to 8.0) if kept moderately moist but well-drained.  Established plants can tolerate slight drought and rocky soil. Chinese Juniper also transplants easily. Propagation requires both male and female trees (dioecious); male pollen cones are catkin-like while female plants have light blue seed cones that take the form of a fleshy berry.  These take two years to mature and become violet-brown to black. The immature berries are often used in cooking for seasoning.  The dark green, aromatic foliage is characterized as juvenile, paired or in threes, 8mm long pointed needles called awl, and adult, flat, scale-like in 2 opposite pairs.  The bark is light brown with ridges peeling in thin strips. 

This plant is seldom damaged by deer, tolerant of air pollution and is moderately salt tolerant.  It is fungus susceptible as the first half of the cycle of Cedar-Apple Rust with round orange galls forming on infected branches and needles in spring reaching as much as 2 inches.  The galls can form a brown gelatinous tendril or horn which harbor the spores that in turn infect nearby apple trees completing the cycle.   

See also the many varieties of junipers for a wide choice of shapes and colors. Native alternatives include Juniperus virginiana and Juniperus communis 'Compressa'.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Bonsai Garden
Cultivars / Varieties:
'Angelica Blue', 'Blue Point', 'Blue Vase', 'Columnaris', 'Daubs Frosted', 'Fairview', 'Gold Coast', 'Gold Lace', 'Gold Star', 'Hetz Columnaris', 'Hetzii Glauca', 'Iowa', 'Kaizuka', 'Keteleeri', 'Old Gold', 'Parsonii', 'Robusta Green', 'San Jose', 'Sargentii', 'Saybrook Gold', 'Sea Green', 'Simpaku', 'Spartan', 'Spearmint', 'Torulosa'
Tags:
#evergreen#sun#partial shade#specimen#tree#salt tolerant#low maintenance#air pollution tolerant#cpp#deer resistant#tall#evergreen tree#rocky soils tolerant#dry soils tolerant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
'Angelica Blue', 'Blue Point', 'Blue Vase', 'Columnaris', 'Daubs Frosted', 'Fairview', 'Gold Coast', 'Gold Lace', 'Gold Star', 'Hetz Columnaris', 'Hetzii Glauca', 'Iowa', 'Kaizuka', 'Keteleeri', 'Old Gold', 'Parsonii', 'Robusta Green', 'San Jose', 'Sargentii', 'Saybrook Gold', 'Sea Green', 'Simpaku', 'Spartan', 'Spearmint', 'Torulosa'
Tags:
#evergreen#sun#partial shade#specimen#tree#salt tolerant#low maintenance#air pollution tolerant#cpp#deer resistant#tall#evergreen tree#rocky soils tolerant#dry soils tolerant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Juniperus
    Species:
    chinensis
    Family:
    n
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Determined by variety: Specimen trees, hedge, winter interest
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    China, Mongolia, Japan, Himalayas
    Wildlife Value:
    Resistant to deer
    Play Value:
    Colorful
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Deer, salt, air pollution, drought, erosion
    Edibility:
    immature cone "berry" used as seasoning
    Dimensions:
    Height: 50 ft. 0 in. - 60 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 10 ft. 0 in. - 20 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Conical
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil pH:
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    6-feet-12 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Fruit Description:
    No true fruits, but female cones are blue, fleshy "berry" looking and edible, often used as a seasoning.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Description:
    No flowers, but cones are large and brown and fall apart upon maturity. Female cones are blue fleshy "berry" looking.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Blue
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Prickly
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Needles
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Dark green adult flat scale-like, bluish-green juvenile needles.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Brown
    Surface/Attachment:
    Exfoliating
    Fissured
    Ridges
    Bark Description:
    Ridged and fissured peeling in thin strips
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Landscape Theme:
    Asian Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Hedge
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Pollution
    Salt
    Problems:
    Malodorous