Juniperus communis L.
common juniper (ground juniper)
Cupressaceae (Cypress family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Ashley Churchill     (Photo ID #16868)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Juniperus communis
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

Sprawling, evergreen shrub, 0.5-3.0 m tall; bark very thin, reddish-brown, shredding and scaly.
Needle-like, with whitish channel on upper surface, (5) 7-12 (19) mm long, in whorls of three on stem.
Seed cones fleshy, berrylike, egg-shaped to globose, 6-9 mm long, green in first year, ripening in second year to bluish black; pollen and seed cones on separate plants.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Mid Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Blue
Present from Summer to Fall
According to the USDA, this species is a known allelopath.
Source:  The USDA


Ecological Framework for Juniperus communis

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)
1294 6 2854
Slope Gradient (%)
29 0 244

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

189 0 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
2 0 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class

All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in

AT(62), BAFA(27), BG(26), BWBS(204), CMA(17), CWH(99), ESSF(1166), ICH(364), IDF(1161), IMA(15), MH(13), MS(1101), PP(59), SBPS(298), SBS(330), SWB(149)

Habitat and Range

Dry slopes and open forests to wet coastal muskeg in the lowland to alpine zones; common throughout BC; circumpolar, N to AK, E to NF and S to CA, AZ, NM, and GA; Eurasia.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia