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Common Juniper (Juniperus communis)
Evergreen Trees (Conifers), Vegetation Around Las Vegas
Common Juniper

General: Common Juniper (Juniperus communis) is a coniferous (cone-bearing) shrub with sharp, stout needles that radiate in all directions from the twigs (unlike other junipers). The cones are round berries about 1/4-inch in diameter. This species is most easily recognized by the shrub-like nature of the plant and the spiky needles.

In Nevada, Common Juniper is an uncommon component of the montane vegetation in the Spring and Sheep mountains in the Canadian (Pine-Fir Forest) and Hudsonian (Bristlecone Forest) life zones.

Common Juniper

Family: Cypress (Cupressaceae).

Other Names:

Plant Form: Low, spreading shrub.

Height: To 2-3 feet tall.

Trunk: Short.

Bark: Reddish brown, scaly or peeling in papery sheets.

Common Juniper

Branches: Grow along the ground, twisted, stiff. Branchlets 3-dimensional (not flattened).

Needles: Needle-shaped, pointed, stiff, to 0.5 in long; whorls of 3, 6-ranked; white band above, dark green below; spreading at right angles to the branchlets.

Cones: Berry, red maturing to bright blue or black, 1/5 to 1/3 inch diameter, set at junction of leaves and branchlets, resinous.

Seeds: 1–3 per cone; 2–5 mm.

Common Juniper

Habitat: Rocky and wooded mountain slopes.

Elevation: 6,200 to 11,200 feet.

Distribution: Northern Hemisphere around the world. Around Las Vegas, a few, scattered individuals can be found in the Spring and Sheep Mountains. They are more common to the north.

Comments: Common Juniper (Juniperus communis) is a northern species that occurs across northern North America south of the tundra. This species is uncommon around Las Vegas, but a few, scattered individuals can be found in the Spring and Sheep Mountains. In the Spring Mountains, this species can be most easily seen along the Bristlecone and Mummy Spring trails. It can also be found on Harris Mountain.

Common Juniper (Juniperus communis) Common Juniper (Juniperus communis)
Common Juniper (Juniperus communis) Common Juniper (Juniperus communis)

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 130122

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