T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Juniperus chinensis (Chinese Juniper)

Kingdom:   Plantae
Division:    Pinophyta
Class:        Pinopsida
Order:       Pinales
Family:      Cupressaceae
Genus:      Juniperus
Species:     J. chinensis
Binomial name: Juniperus chinensis
Common name: Chinese Juniper

Juniperus chinensis is a juniper that grows as a shrub or tree with a very variable shape, reaching 1-20 m tall. This native of northeast Asia grows in China, Mongolia, Japan, Korea and the southeast of Russia.
There are many cultivars.
It is a coniferous needled evergreen tree with a pyramidal habit. The leaves grow in two forms, juvenile needle-like leaves 5-10 mm long and adult scale-leaves 1.5-3 mm long. Mature trees usually continue to bear some juvenile foliage as well as adult, particularly on shaded shoots low in the crown. Juniperus chinensis is dioecious; the small male flowers (6.3mm) are slight yellow and form at the tips of branches, the females also yellowish, round and also form at tips of branches in spring
The whitish cones grow to 7-12 mm in diameter and contain 2-4 seeds; they mature to a blue-black colour in about 18 months. The male cones, 2-4 mm long, shed their pollen in early spring.
The bark is a gray-brown. Reddish brown patches may be present where bark has peeled.

The Juniperus chinensis is widely used in bonsai, both as individual plants, such as the 250-year-old "Omiya tree" in the Birmingham Botanical Gardens in the UK.

This old tree (circa. 1860) was photographed at Ratanui, Carrington Road,  New Plymouth.
This free-standing specimen is the tallest recorded in New Zealand'. Fuller 1983. Reference. Burstall SW. FM. Report no.19. 1973; p.23. http://register.notabletrees.org.nz/tree/view/110




Juvenile needle leaves.