Juniperus scopulorum Sarg.
Rocky Mountain juniper
Cupressaceae (Cypress family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Virginia Skilton     (Photo ID #89430)


E-Flora BC Static Map

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

Species Information

Usually a small, erect evergreen tree to 10 m tall, with conical form, but also a sprawling shrub less than 1 m; bark reddish-brown, scaly or fibrous and stringy.
Mostly scalelike, opposite, not prickly, but young leaves needle-like, 5-7 mm long, in whorls of three on stem.
Seed cones fleshy, berrylike, 5-6 mm long, bluish-purple when mature, glaucous; pollen and seed cones on separate plants.
See J. horizontalis for discussion of hybridization.

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:
Early Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Blue
Present from Fall to Winter
Source:  The USDA


Ecological Framework for Juniperus scopulorum

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)
980 15 2854
Slope Gradient (%)
36 0 160

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

193 0 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
2 0 7
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(2), BG(126), BWBS(6), CDF(1), CWH(3), ESSF(23), ICH(74), IDF(729), MS(138), PP(82), SBPS(5), SBS(36), SWB(1)

Habitat and Range

Dry open, often calcareous, rocky soils in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; infrequent in S BC, rare northward to Telegraph Creek; E to SW AB and S to AZ, NM, CO and W NE.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Juniperus scopulorum var. columnaris Fassett
Juniperus virginiana subsp. scopulorum (Sarg.) E. Murray
Juniperus virginiana var. montana Vasey
Juniperus virginiana var. scopulorum (Sarg.) Lemmon
Sabina scopulorum (Sarg.) Rydb.