E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Juniperus horizontalis Moench
creeping juniper
Cupressaceae (Cypress family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Amelie Rousseau  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #6455)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Juniperus horizontalis
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Species Information

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Sprawling, evergreen shrub, usually less than 30 cm tall, the branch tips trailing.
Scalelike, somewhat overlapping, closely pressed to stem; green, grey-green or blue-green.
Seed cones fleshy, berrylike, 5-8 mm long, maturing to bluish-purple, glaucous, on short, recurved stalks; pollen and seed cones on separate plants.
May hybridize with J. scopulorum where their ranges coincide; the hybrid has been called J. x fassettii Boivin.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Blooming Period:
Late Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present from Summer to Fall
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Dry rocky or sandy slopes and flats in the montane zone; common in N BC, infrequent southward; N to SC AK, E to NF and S to CO.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Juniperus horizontalis

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 440 1008 2100
Slope Gradient (%) 0 23 85
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
24 208 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 3 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BG(5), BWBS(10), ESSF(3), IDF(16), MS(7), SBPS(1), SBS(5), SWB(5)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Juniperus horizontalis var. argentea hort.
Juniperus horizontalis var. douglasii hort.
Juniperus horizontalis var. glauca Hornibr.
Juniperus horizontalis var. variegata Beissn.
Juniperus hudsonica Forbes
Juniperus prostrata Pers.
Juniperus repens Nutt.
Juniperus virginiana var. prostrata (Pers.) Torr.
Sabina horizontalis (Moench) Rydb.
Sabina prostrata (Pers.) Antoine

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

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General References