Juniperus thurifera

12 Feb

Juniperus thurifera (30/12/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Juniperus thurifera (30/12/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

PLEASE NOTE THIS POST IS UNDER REVIEW

Position: Full sun

Flowering period: Early Spring

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 10m

Eventual Spread: 3m

Hardiness: 5b, 6a, 6b, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a

Family: Cupressaceae

Juniperus thurifera is a slow growing a evergreen tree with a variable conical habit. Its dark green leaves appear in two forms, juvenile and adult and are strongly aromatic. Its juvenile leaves are needle like and up to 10mm long. Its adult leaves are scale like and up to 3mm long. Its bark is brown/ grey and longitudinally fibrous. Its is a dioecious tree with its flowers being male pollen cones and female seed cones, are wind pollinated and are not self fertile. Its blue/ black fruit are berry like seed cones and are up to 12mm across.

Juniperus thurifera Leaf (30/12/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Juniperus thurifera Leaf (30/12/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Juniperus thurifera, commonly known as Spanish Juniper or Incense Juniper, is native to the western Mediterranean region, including south France, Spain, Morocco and Algeria. In its native habitat it grows in dry mountainous soils in scrub and woodland at an altitude between 800m to 1500m.

The etymological root of the binomial name Juniperus is derived from the old Latin name for the Juniper tree.  Thurifera is derived from the Latin meaning ‘producer of incense’.

Juniperus thurifera Berries (30/12/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Juniperus thurifera Berries (30/12/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

The landscape architect may find Juniperus thurifera useful as an an attractive evergreen specimen tree, particularly in arid climates which have cold winters. Once established this tree is drought tolerant.

Ecologically,  Juniperus thurifera seed cones are attractive to birds and mammals. Its structure provides shelter for birds.

Juniperus thurifera Bark (30/12/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Juniperus thurifera Bark (30/12/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Juniperus thurifera prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil.

Juniperus thurifera requires little maintenance.

2 Responses to “Juniperus thurifera”

  1. Carlos 22/09/2016 at 00:15 #

    Sorry, but the species depicted in those photographs is not Juniperus thurifera, nor any species of Juniperus growing wild in Spain or Western Europe

    • Davis Landscape Architecture 22/09/2016 at 07:48 #

      Carlos, thank you for your comment. I believe you are correct. The tree shown was tagged as Juniperus thurifera, apparently incorrectly. I will review this post more fully.

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