Juniperus squamata D. Don

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Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

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'Juniperus squamata' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online ( Accessed 2024-07-22.


  • J. densa Gord.


Lying flat against an object.
Grey-blue often from superficial layer of wax (bloom).
Plant originating from the cross-fertilisation of genetically distinct individuals (e.g. two species or two subspecies).


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Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Recommended citation
'Juniperus squamata' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online ( Accessed 2024-07-22.

A low shrub with the main branches spreading over the ground, and the branchlets rising about 2 ft above them. Leaves always awl-shaped (never scale-like), and arranged in threes; they are pointed forwards, but not appressed to the stem, 18 to 16 in. long, terminated by a slender fine point; margins green on the upper side and incurved, the concave centre uniformly glaucous or with two glaucous bands; lower side of leaf wholly green, and with a central groove. Fruits egg-shaped, about 13 in. long, reddish brown the first year, ripening and changing to purplish black the second, each carrying one seed.

Native of the Himalaya and China; introduced from Nepal about 1836, or perhaps earlier. It is allied to J. recurva, which it resembles in its uniform foliage, and the purple-black, one-seeded berries. The leaves, however, are broader, shorter, and more conspicuously glaucous, and the habit and general aspect very different. There was a good specimen at Bayfordbury from which the above description was made, which made a handsome low shrub, very dense and leafy in growth

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

cv. ‘Meyeri’. – This well-known cultivar has produced two excellent branch-sports: ‘Blue Carpet’, which is procumbent and eventually about 5 ft wide and 1 ft high; and ‘Blue Star’, which makes a dense, rounded bush, with no tendency to form strong leading shoots. Both were raised in Holland, and have the silvery foliage of the original ‘Meyeri’, which in time becomes a tall shrub.

† cv. ‘Holger’. – A spreading bush to some 6 ft high and wide, with yellowish young growths contrasting with the older grey foliage. Raised by Holger Jensen in his Ramlösa nursery, Sweden. It has been suggested that it is a hybrid between ‘Meyeri’ and J. chinensis (J. × media) ‘Pfitzeriana’.

f. wilsonii Rehd

A shrub up to 6 ft high of very dense habit, the shoots recurved at the tips and crowded with leaves that are about {1/6} in. long and broader than in the type. Discovered and introduced by Wilson in 1909. According to Rehder, this is an ecological form linked by intermediates to the prostrate forms found in the same area. Wilson’s seed number 985 was taken from both kinds. The original plant of the clone ‘Prostrata’ was raised by Hornibrook from this seed number and further propagated by cuttings. J. squamata f. wilsonii also occurs in Yunnan, where it was collected by Forrest.

J morrisonicola Hayata

J. squamata var. morrisonicola (Hayata) Li & Keng

The taxonomic status of this juniper, a native of Formosa, remains to be decided, but it is certainly very close to J. squamata var. fargesii. The cultivated plants, which are probably from seeds collected by Wilson in the mountains of Formosa, differ from this in having the branchlets more erect, so that the glaucous upper sides of the leaves are more exposed. This difference gives a distinctive colouring to young plants. The oldest plants in cultivation in Britain are no more than about 8 ft in height.


Of dense, conical habit. Raised at Leonardslee from seeds received under the label “J. wallichiana” (Gard. Chron. (19 January 1929), p. 50).


A variety of Chinese gardens, not known in the wild, which is believed to have originated in the horticultural centre of Lungchuan in N. Honan. It is a clone, which the Chinese propagated by grafting on Thuja orientalis, and was used by them as a pot-plant. Introduced by F. N. Meyer to the USA in 1910 and now common in gardens (Journ. Arn. Arb., Vol. 3, p. 20, and Vol. 4, p. 127). It is, at least when young, one of the most beautiful of the junipers. The leaves point forward along the shoots, exposing the glaucous undersides, which give to the whole plant a steel-blue colouring. Main branches (including the leader) arching outwards; branchlets short, pendulous at the tips. It will grow to 15 or even 20 ft high but is at its most attractive as a young plant.

var. fargesii (Komar.) Rehd. & Wils.

J. fargesii Komar.
J. lemeeana , Lévi. & Blin

A very distinct variety, introduced by Wilson from Szechwan W. China, in 1908. It varies in habit from a small, even quite prostrate, shrub to a tree 15 to 40 ft high. Occasionally it is found even taller – in The Garden for 8 March 1924, Wilson figured a tree 85 ft high which he saw in China. This variety differs from the type in the spreading branches, in the leaves being longer ({1/4} to {1/3} in.) and narrower; also in the smaller fruits {1/4} in. or less long. As in the type, the berry carries one seed. It seems on the whole distinct enough to rank as a species.Handel-Mazzetti, who observed this juniper at first hand in N.W. Yunnan, remarked that it retains its distinctness from J. squamata even where it is found as a prostrate shrub at high altitudes – in other words that it is not simply a more arborescent form of J. squamata. He discussed it under the name J. lemeeana, which would be the correct name for this juniper as a species (Symb. Sin., Part VII, p. 7).