Juniperus scopulorum ‘Skyrocket’

2 Jan

Juniperus scopulorum 'Skyrocket' (26/12/2011, Belkovice, Czech Republic)

Juniperus scopulorum ‘Skyrocket’ (26/12/2011, Belkovice, Czech Republic)

Position: Full sun to partial shade

Flowering period: early spring

Soil: well-drained, light

Eventual Height: 5m

Eventual Spread: 60cm

Hardiness: 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a

Family: Cupressaceae

Juniperus scopulorum ‘Skyrocket’ is a slow growing, columnar, evergreen shrub/ small tree. The light blue/ green leaves are needle like, up to 10mm long and are pressed tight against the branches. The foliage is slightly brighter in late spring. This plant is dioecious. The pollen cones are produced in early spring and are up to 4mm long. The seed cones are dark blue, berry like and are up to 1cm in diameter.

Juniperus scopulorum ‘Skyrocket’ is commonly known as the Rock Mountain Juniper. It is synonymous with Juniperus  virginiana ‘Skyrocket’. The species Juniperus scopulorum is native to western North America and parts of Canada. Due to this plant being susceptible to apple rust this variety is being replace with Juniperus virginiana ‘Blue Arrow’ in the nurseries.

Juniperus scopulorum 'Skyrocket' detail (26/12/2011, Belkovice, Czech Republic)

Juniperus scopulorum ‘Skyrocket’ detail (26/12/2011, Belkovice, Czech Republic)

The etymological root of the binomial name Juniperus is derived from the old Latin name for the Juniper plant. Scopulorum is derived from the Latin scopulus ‘rock’ or ‘boulder’, in reference to this plants native growing habitat.

The landscape architect may find Juniperus scopulorum ‘Skyrocket’ useful as dramatic vertical evergreen accent plants. It is tolerant of urban pollution. It is particularly tolerant of hot sunny sites.

Ecologically Juniperus scopulorum ‘Skyrocket’ is attractive to birds.

Juniperus scopulorum ‘Skyrocket’ prefers a fertile, well-drained light soil. It will tolerate most pH of soil. It will not tolerate water logging.

Juniperus scopulorum ‘Skyrocket’ requires little maintenance. It may be pruned in spring and autumn to remove any non vertical branches to maintain its columnar habit.

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