Juniperus chinensis L.

Chinese juniper
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Juniperus chinensis
Elena Torres & Santiago Moreno
Licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

Juniperus chinensis: Pyramidal shape of the tree all year round

Pyramidal shape of the tree all year roundFibrous bark of the tree, flaking in vertical stripsBranch with 7 glaucous mature female cones, 8 mm in diam.; seed scales are ± fleshy and do not separateBranch with twigs covered with small scale-like leaves, several young female cones at their tips and one mature female cone 8 mm in diam.

Juniperus: Ancient Latin name for juniper

chinensis, -e: from China


Habit: Evergreen, generally dioecious dwarf shrub or tree up to 20 m tall, with brown bark that flakes in thin stripes and a pyramidal crown (when it grows as a tree).

Leaves: opposite and decussate in compressed nodes, persistent, simple, ± 1.5 mm long, scale-like, ovate, with a broad and decurrent base and an abaxial resin gland, appressed to the short internodes in such a way that the stem can hardly be seen, often accompanied on the branch by longer, almost acicular leaves with a more lifted apex.

Male cones: solitary, terminal, 4-6 mm long, ovoid or ellipsoid, yellowish. Female cones: solitary, terminal, inconspicuous.

Mature female cones: 6-8 mm in diam., ± globose or oblong-elongate, bluish-black, glaucous, formed by ± fused fleshy seed scales that do not separate when they mature. Each cone bears 2-5 seeds.


Female cones appear at the end of winter or beginning of spring and mature in the following year.

Geographic origin

Native to E Asia.


It is often cultivated as an ornamental. It is propagated mainly from semi-hardwood cuttings.

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