The Gymnosperm Database


Foliage and cones; Corbère-les-Cabanes (France) [Jean Tosti, 2005.04].


Sapling; Sardinia (Italy) [Giancarlo Dessi, 2008.08.26].


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Conservation status

Juniperus oxycedrus

Linnaeus 1753, p. 1038

Common names

Crvena kleka [Serbian]; prickly juniper [English]; zeder wacholder [German]; genévrier cade, cedre piquant [French]; ginepro pungente [Italian].

Taxonomic notes

There are four subspecies (per Farjon 2005):

Of these, subsp. badia, which has also been described as var. badia and as f. pendula, appears to have been described on the basis of a single tree and has not since been collected, although it has been reported in Portugal and central Spain. Subsp. macrocarpa is widespread on the E Mediterreanean and Black Sea coasts, while subsp. oxycedrus has a larger (but partially sympatric) range but in inland settings. Subsp. transtagana is questionably distinct from subsp. oxycedrus, confined to Portugal and SW Spain (Farjon 2005).


Dioecious tree to 14 m, but usually a shrub of oval habit. Bark gray to brown-red. Needles in groups of three, sharp, up to 2 cm long; cross-section triangular; upper side with 2 distinct stomatal lines, lower side keeled. Fruit (cone) berry-like, red, spherical, about 10 mm in diameter; ripe in second year; usually with three seeds (Jovanoviæ 1986).

Distribution and Ecology

Mediterranean, east to Iran and Caucasus mountains, at 0-1400 m elevation. Although characteristic of Mediterranean climates, it is also found deep into the continent (Europe, western Asia) (Jovanoviæ 1986). Among other places, it is native to Croatia. Var. transtagna occurs in SW Portugal (Silba 1986). Hardy to Zone 7 (cold hardiness limit between -17.7°C and -12.2°C) (Bannister and Neuner 2001).

Big tree






Arceuthobium oxycedri (Loranthaceae) is a (semiparasitic) mistletoe found only on this juniper species.


Jovanoviæ, Branislav. 1986. "Pinus mugo," in Flora Srbije. Belgrade: Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts.

Thanks to Milan Jovanovic for information and assistance contributed in 1999.

See also

Adams, Robert P. 2004. Junipers of the World: The Genus Juniperus. Trafford Publishing.
Brief versions of the descriptions are available online at

Farjon (2005) also provides a detailed account, with illustrations.

Last Modified 2017-12-29