Rocky Mountain juniper
Juniperus scopulorum

Secondary Names:
Rocky Mountain cedar

Leaf Type: Evergreen
Texas Native:
Tree Description:

A medium-sized tree, to 50 feet tall and a trunk from 16" to 20" in diameter, similar in appearance to eastern redcedar, with green foliage forming a conical crown.

Range/Site Description:

West Texas only, in the Guadalupe Mountains and the Panhandle, usually on rocky hillsides or canyons where moisture is present.


Both scale-like and awl-like leaves are present, dark green, sometimes with a glaucous bloom that gives the foliage a slightly bluish cast.


Small, inconspicuous, male and female conelets appear on the branchlets in spring.


A small, dark blue, berry-like cone, 0.25" to 0.33" in diameter, covered with a waxy bloom, ripening in the second year following pollination.


Reddish-brown to gray, developing shallow fissures and flat ridges that interlace and eventually peel away in shreds from the trunk.


Sapwood is pale, surrounding red-brown heartwood; used occasionally for chests, closets, millwork, interior finish, posts, poles, pencils, buckets, woodenware, and fuel. Also planted for windbreaks and as a landscape tree.

Similar Species:

Other western junipers include the one-seeded (Juniperus monosperma), Pinchot (J. pinchotii), and rose-fruited (J. coahuilensis) junipers.

Interesting Facts:

The most widely distributed juniper of the west. Wood is often fashioned into gift store knick-knacks throughout the western U.S.

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