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JUNIPERUS communis var. depressa
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Flavor your home brew of gin with the fleshy cones of the common juniper. While the parent species is found all across the Northern Hemisphere, variety depressa is from North America. It was nearly wiped out in a previous Ice Age, but plants survived in the southern Appalachian Mountains and repopulated the northern half of the continent as the glaciers receded. It excels in rocky soils on slopes, cliffs and summits. The growth habit of this variety is usually multi-trunked and a spreading to wide shrub. Compared to the Chinese juniper (Juniperus chinensis), common juniper prospers in much colder climates.
The prickly, spine-tipped needle foliage ranges from blue-green or gray-green to deep green. Growth shoots are upturned. Needles are typically borne in threes and have white bands on the inner needle surfaces. Rather than flowering, these conifers produce male or female cones. The male cones shed pollen into the wind, later pollinating female cones that ripen to oval or round fruits. The female cones usually are first powdery blue, and over the course of three years on the plant, ripen to black.
Grow the common juniper in any well-drained soil in full sun to bright, dappled shade. This species prospers in dry, chalky and sandy soils, but will suffer in soggy ground. Wild-growing specimens provide shelter for wildlife and may become impressive specimens that are contorted or wind-swept on hillsides, cliffs or among rocks. The brown bark weathers to gray and exfoliates to reveal a smooth bark layer on old plants. Numerous cultivated varieties exist, each having a definite foliage color or texture and expected mature plant habit and size. Many dwarf-growing selections are used in landscapes as groundcovers and massed plantings. Pruning typically isn't required, and overpruning destroys the plant's natural billowy and feathery texture.
6 - 1
2 - 6
A1, A2, A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Full Sun, Partial Sun
2'-18' / 0.6m - 5.5m
5'-20' / 1.5m - 6.1m
North America, United States, Northeastern United States, North-Central United States, Northwestern United States, Canada
Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline
Clay, Loam, Sand
Drought Tolerant, Average Water
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Light Blue, Chocolate, Black
Blue Green, Gray Green, Dark Green
Sandy Brown, Gray
Foundation, Groundcover, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Screening / Wind Break
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