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Oneseed Juniper Juniperus monosperma


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Family: Cupressaceae, Cypress view all from this family

Description Evergreen coniferous shrub or small tree growing to 2–7 m. (rarely to 12 m.) tall, usually multistemmed, and with a dense, rounded crown. Bark gray-brown, exfoliating in thin long thin strips, exposing bright orange brown underneath. Shoots 1.2–1.9 mm. thick. Leaves scale-like, 1–2 mm. long and 0.6–1.5 mm. broad on small shoots, up to 10 mm long on vigorous shoots; arranged in alternating whorls of three or opposite pairs. Juvenile leaves needle-like. Cones berry-like, with soft resinous flesh, subglobose to ovoid, 5-7 mm. long, dark blue with pale blue-white waxy bloom, and contain a single seed (rarely two or three); mature in about 6–8 months from pollination. Male cones 2-4 mm. long, and shed pollen in late winter. Usually dioecious, with male and female cones on separate plants, but occasional monoecious plants can be found. Roots found to extend to as far as 61m. below the surface, making it the plant with the second deepest roots, after Boscia albitrunca.

Dimensions Height: 3-7.6 m. (10-25 ft.)
Diameter: 0.3 m. (1 ft.).

Habitat Mountains, Scrub, shrub & brushlands, Grasslands & prairies, Fields.

Range Texas, Plains, Southwest, Rocky Mountains.

Discussion Very rare or even extinct in Mexico, only a single herbarium collection from 1880 verified. Unlike many other junipers, the wood is not durable, so is not used to any extent.