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Native alternative(s) for Juniperus communis var. depressa 'Aurea':
Juniperus communis Juniperus communis
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Juniperus communis 'Gold Cone' Form
Taxus chinensis Taxus chinensis
Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Verdoni' Form

Golden Flat Juniper Juniperus communis var. depressa 'Aurea'

Phonetic Spelling
jew-NIP-er-us KOM-yoo-nis
Description

'Aurea' is a cultivar that can thrive in a wide range of soil types as it is a low-growing juniper that is very tolerant of adverse conditions with the exception of heat and humidity, and is hardy through several USDA Zones from 2-6. Drought tolerance is good after it is established; also disease and insect tolerant. It grows in well-drained sunny areas and even in dry, rocky, and sandy soils.  It has spreading branches and ascending main branches which have a striking yellow color giving it its name.  Its branches are considered procumbent, branches that grow along the ground without setting roots.  It has strong, yellow variegated shoots that will fade over time.  Depressa refers to the flattened, low growing form; Aurea comes from the golden-yellow foliage.  

The parent plant var. depressa is considered to be one of the most common junipers found in the garden.  It is extremely tolerant of cold temperatures, but due to heat and humidity intolerance, these junipers are not widely successful below Zone 6. 

More information on Juniperus communis.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#drought tolerant#needled evergreen#yellow needles
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#drought tolerant#needled evergreen#yellow needles
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Juniperus
    Species:
    communis
    Family:
    Cupressaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern US and Canada
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 4 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Description:
    No fruit, cones.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Description:
    No flowers.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    White
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    Awl-shaped needles with a glaucous white band on the upper surface. New growth is yellow, it fades with time. Can brown in winter. Grown for its foliage.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Theme:
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought