Juniperus chinensis 'Sargentii'
Juniperus chinensis, commonly called Chinese juniper, is a dioecious evergreen conifer that is native to China, Japan, Mongolia and the Himalayas. It is often seen in the wild as a conical tree to 50’ tall and 20’ wide, but also appears in much shorter shrubby or spreading forms. Foliage is dark green. Brown bark on mature stems peels in strips. Although species plants are rarely sold in commerce, a large number of cultivated varieties ranging in size from large trees to large/small shrubs to low-growing groundcovers have become popular ornamental landscape plants. Chinese juniper leaves come in two types: scale-like (adult) and awl/needle-like (juvenile). Cones (pollen and seed-bearing) appear on different plants. Male plants produce catkin-like pollen cones. Female plants produce fleshy, berry-like, whitish-blue seed cones that usually acquire violet-brown tones as they mature over two years. Var. sargentii, commonly called Sargent juniper, is native to the Kurile Islands, Northern Japan and northeastern China. It is a creeping shrub that typically grows to 1-2’ tall and spreads to 8-10’ wide. Erect stems grow from prostrate branches. Aromatic, scale-like (adult), blue-green leaves and needle-like (juvenile) young leaves in whorls of three. Pollinated female plants produce fleshy seed cones (bluish-black berries). Synonymous with Juniperus sargentii.