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Ground Juniper Juniperus communis var. depressa

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

Canadian juniper is a naturally occurring native variety of needled evergreen shrub, groundcover, or small tree in the Cupressaceae (cypress) family.  The genus name Juniperus means juniper in Latin and the species communis means common.  This 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.   It grows throughout the Arctic Circle, Canada, and North America as well as the United Kingdom in well-drained sunny areas and even in dry, rocky, and sandy soils mostly in mountainous regions.

Plant in the full sun in dry well drained soils. It grows to a mature height of 3 to 6 feet with spreading trailing branches up to 12 feet. Gray green needles are awl shaped and stiff giving the shrub a prickly feel.  Though the small cones of female plants of this dioecious species resemble berries, they are not true fruits.  However, they have a pungent flavor and are used in cooking

Drought and dry soil tolerance is good after it is established and it is also quite disease and insect tolerant.   This plant succeeds in urban conditions being air pollution tolerant.  It is extremely tolerant of cold temperatures, but due to heat and humidity intolerance, these junipers are not widely successful below Zone 6.

It has a broad, low, vase-shaped form and ascending branchlet tips which is attractive as a specimen plant in the landscape or as foundation plants.  The attractive foliage lends winder interest to the landscape.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  No serious problems.  Borers, bagworms, mites, midges, and scale are occasional insect problems.  Juniper blight can affect any member of this genus.  

More information on Juniperus communis.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#small tree#drought tolerant#specimen#native shrub#winter interest#air pollution tolerant#erosion control#disease resistant#needled evergreen#deer resistant#foundation planting#naturalized area#food source fall#food source spring#food source herbage#rocky soils tolerant#dry soils tolerant#food source soft mast fruit#FACU Piedmont Mountains#Coastal FACU#Audubon#shallow soil tolerant#edible cones#insect resistant#food source winter
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#small tree#drought tolerant#specimen#native shrub#winter interest#air pollution tolerant#erosion control#disease resistant#needled evergreen#deer resistant#foundation planting#naturalized area#food source fall#food source spring#food source herbage#rocky soils tolerant#dry soils tolerant#food source soft mast fruit#FACU Piedmont Mountains#Coastal FACU#Audubon#shallow soil tolerant#edible cones#insect resistant#food source winter
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Juniperus
    Species:
    communis
    Family:
    Cupressaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Edibility:
    Cones are edible but pungent and are used to flavor gin, cooked meats and cabbages. Branches can be soaked in hot water to make tea.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 3 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 8 ft. 0 in. - 12 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ground Cover
    Native Plant
    Shrub
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Broad
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    6-feet-12 feet
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    2b, 2a, 3b, 3a, 4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Spring
    Winter
    Fruit Description:
    No true fruits, but female cones are blue fleshy "berry" looking and edible, often used as a seasoning.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Description:
    No true 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
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    Awl-like gray-green to blue-green needles with sharp points. Glaucous band on the upper surface with a green margin. Brown winter color.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Slope/Bank
    Landscape Theme:
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Native Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Foundation Planting
    Small Tree
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Erosion
    Pollution
    Urban Conditions