Juniperus chinensis Cupressaceae
Chinese Juniper ju-NIP-er-us chi-NEN-sis
- Conifer, evergreen, tree or wide spreading shrub, to 70 ft (20 m) tall and 20 ft (6 m) wide, brown bark. Foliage is pungent. Juvenile needles are narrow, awl-shaped, sharp pointed, 8 mm long, borne in pairs or in 3s; adult leaves are scale-like, in 4 ranks (2 opposite pairs), lying flat along the stem. Fruit is white-blue then violet or brown, more or less globose, to 12 mm wide, ripen the second year.
- Sun and partial shade. Best on moist, well-drained, but tolerates dry soils once established.
- Hardy to USDA Zone 3-9, depending upon cultivar. Used in bonsai. Native to China, Mongolia, and Japan.
- The species type is not often used in landscaping since there are many fine selections commercially available, Dirr (1998) lists over 80, they include:
- Armstrong (syn. J × media Armstrongii) - about 4 ft (1.2 m) high, similar spread, leaves mostly scale-like, except at base of branches, bright green, maintains color in cold weather.
- Blue Alps - vigorous shrub, upright branches, arching, open, sharp needles, blue-green color.
- Blue Point - upright, broad, conical form, may reach 12 ft (3.6 m) high and 8 ft (2.4 m) wide, very densely branched, blue-green foliage.
- Daniel's Dwarf - dwarf, low growing, wide spreading shrub, to 1-2 ft high and a spread of 2-3 ft tall (0.3-0.6 × 0.6 -0.9 m) at maturity .
- Gold Coast™ - spreading shrub, 3 ft tall by 5 ft wide (0.9 × 1.5 m); foliage is yellow-gold, which deepens in winter.
- Gold Lace - yellow foliage ["most golden of all junipers", Dirr, (1998)], compact habit, 4 ft (1.2 m) tall and 6 ft (1.8 m)wide.
- Hetzii (syn. J × media Hetzii) - fast-growing, upright-spreading, may reach 10 × 10 ft (3 × 3 m) or more, bluish-green foliage.
- Keteleeri - evergreen, pyramidal tree, 15-20 ft (4.5-6m) tall or taller, branches ascending Leaves scale-like, very pointed, green, female clone with spherical cones having a recurved stalk, abundant fruit.
- Maney - large, multi-stemmed, spreading shrub with a distinctive upright arching habit of growth, slow growing but may reach 6 ft tall with a spread of 5 ft (1.8 × 1.5 m), branches are covered in foliage all the way to the ground.
- Pfitzeriana (syn. J × media Pfitzeriana; J. × pfitzeriana [Pfitzer Group]) - wide spreading shrub, stout, ascending, thick branches with drooping tips, 6 ft (1.8 m) tall, spread may be double that, both scale-like and needle leaves, bright green; very common.
- Robusta Green - upright form, can reach 15 ft ( 4.5 m) tall and 7 ft (2.1 m) wide, bright green foliage, female, produces abundant cones.
- San Jose - low growing creeping form, to 2 ft (0.3 m) tall, spread of 6 ft (1.8 m) or more, foliage sage green
- Saybrook Gold (PP5014) - spreading arching shrub, stiff branches with drooping tips, to 3 ft (0.9 m) tall by 6 ft (1.8 m) wide, needle-like foliage is bright yellow in summer and bronze-yellow in winter.
- Shimpaku - low, irregular vase shape, 1-3 ft tall to 5 ft wide, finely textured foliage (needle-like), green color; popular for bonsai use.
- Spearmint - narrow, pyramid habit, dense, to 15 ft (4.5 m) tall and spread 4 ft (1.2 m), leaves mostly scale-like, bright green.
- Stricta - narrowly conical, densely branched, leaves needle-like, prickly, blue-gray.
- Torulosa (Kaizuka; Hollywood Juniper) - large shrub/tree, 20-30 ft (6-9 m) high, female, branches slightly twisted, leaves scale-like, vivid green.
- Variegata - conical habit, densely branched, leaves mostly awl-shaped, splashed with creamy white.
- Some selections previously listed as J. chinensis are considered hybrids of J. chinensis and J. sabina and to indicate this were placed under the designation J. × media. Later the specific epithet, media, was found to have already been in use for a different Juniper hybrid, so its use to signify a J. chinensis - J. sabina hybrid is illegitimate. See the (info) section under the Pfitzer Juniper for more detailed information on this taxonomic problem.