Juniperus communis var. depressa
Syn: Juniperus communis subsp. depressa (Pursh) Franco (Adams 1993).
Dioecious. Shrubs, usually, or rarely small trees to 6 m tall, usually multistemmed, decumbent. Bark brown, weathering gray, fibrous and peeling off in thin strips. Branchlets spreading or ascending, round. Leaves needle-like, 8-15 mm long, glaucous stomatal band about as wide as each green marginal band; apex acute and mucronate to acuminate. Seed cones 6-9 mm in diameter, containing three seeds (Adams 1993, 2008).
Canada: all provinces and territories; USA: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Found at 0-2800 m elevation on rocky soil, slopes, and summits (Adams 1993).
This taxon almost disappeared during the Wisconsin glaciation; fossils of that age are only known from the southern Appalachian Mtns., and it expanded to its current range as the climate warmed and the ice melted (Adams 2008).
Larger individuals (to 10 m tall) have been misidentified as var. communis (Adams 1993).
Farjon (2005) also provides a detailed account, with illustrations and full synonymy.
Last Modified 2012-11-23