Habit: small, slow growing, conical evergreen with an irregular, rounded crown that opens when mature. Bark is reddish brown to gray, thin and furrowed often shredding with age. The deep green or blue-green, evergreen leaves are scale like and pressed together resembling a braid. Rocky Mountain juniper is dioecious (male and female flowers are on separate plants). The fruit, female seed cones, resemble small bluish purple berries covered with a waxy coating. Yellow male and greener female flowers bloom between May and June.
Ecology: found in canyon bottoms and moist, cool hillsides as well as on dry, rocky ridges between 5000-7500 ft (1500-2300 m) in the Western United States.
Growing Conditions: full sun to partial shade, tolerating a wide variety of moisture and soil conditions, preferring dry and well-drained soil.
Junipers are an important resource to a variety of wildlife throughout the country. The berry-like fruit provide winter food and foliage provides protective and nesting cover.