Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Eastern Red Cedar
Juniperus virginiana L.
- Family: Cypress (Cupressaceae)
- Fruits: October-November
- Field Marks: The eastern red cedar has two kinds of leaves: some of them are scale-like;
are short needles. The blue berries have a whitish covering.
- Habitat: Moist to dry soils in old fields, bluff tops, woodlands.
- Habit: Tree up to 90 feet tall, usually much smaller; trunk diameter up to 3 feet; crown narrowly
pyramidal or broad and rounded.
- Bark: Reddish brown to gray, splitting into long shreds.
- Twigs: Slender, brown, 4-angled.
- Leaves: Of 2 kinds: one type flat, triangular, scale-like, opposite, up to 1/16 inch long; one
type short and needle-like, up to 3/4 inch long, blue-green to green to yellow-green.
- Flowers: Male and female on different trees; male in small, narrow, yellowish spikes; female
in small, ovoid, purplish clusters.
- Fruits: Berry-like, spherical, up to 1/4 inch in diameter, dark blue with a whitish covering.
- Notes: This species grows in a variety of habitats, but most abundant on alkaline soils. The wood
is used for clothing chests, pencils, and fence posts.
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