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Utah Juniper

Juniperus osteosperma

Utah Juniper, Juniperus osteosperma, cones and foliage photo © by Michael Plagens

Twigs, leaves and cones of Juniperus osteosperma. Photographed along Camp Creek, Maricopa Co., Arizona. Aug. 2008.

TREE: A small to medium sized tree with course fibrous bark and typically one main trunk (as opposed to multiple branches from ground level).

LEAVES: Leaves are small overlapping scales. Resin glands normally cover less than half the leaf surface.

RANGE: Junipers in Arizona generally do poorly in soils that are flooded for more than a few days - thus in sycamore-lined canyons they tend to grow on slightly higher, drier ground on terraces or nearby slopes. That said, the trees growing in this environment tend to be larger and more vibrant than those on drier sites.

CONES: Berry-like cones are fibrous and orange-brown beneath a glaucus, waxy coating and containing one or two seeds.

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

Cupressaceae -- Juniper Family

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2010