Sonoran Desert Naturalist >>> Field Guide >>> Sonoran Desert Flora >>> Cupressaceae >>> Juniperus osteosperma

Utah Juniper

Juniperus osteosperma

Juniperus californica photo © by Michael Plagens

Photographed along a broad wash in the Colorado Desert portion of Joshua Tree National Monument. May 2010. Dead branches, broken main trunk and parasitic mistletoe evidence the tough conditions here.

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TREE: A small to medium sized tree with thin fibrous bark and typically several trunks.

LEAVES: Leaves are small overlatpping scales usually 3 per node. Resin gland on leaf is conspicuous.

RANGE: California Juniper occurs in the higher desert areas of California, Nevada and northwestern Arizona. Thus its occurrance in the Sonoran Desert is at the boundary of the Mojave Desert.

CONES: Berry-like cones are coated with a bright, blue-gray bloom of wax when green maturing to brown in color. Up to three seeds in each.

UNARMED. The scale-like leaves can feel a bit prickly though.

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Juniperus californica photo © by Michael Plagens

Twigs, leaves and cones of Juniperus californica. Photographed at Joshua Tree National Monument, California.

Cupressaceae -- Juniper Family

More Information:

Sonoran Desert Field Guide
Sonoran Desert Places
Sonoran Desert Naturalist Home Page


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 29 March 2012