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Trees of Wisconsin

Juniperus virginiana L.
eastern red-cedar
Family: Cupressaceae
Red Cedar Branch Red Cedar Cones Red Cedar leaves Red Cedar Leaves
tree branch with mature female cones scale-like leaves and male cones longer, awl-shaped leaves mature female cones both leaf types together bark

Juniperus virginiana is a tree with a columnar growth form and leaves very similar to those of J. horizontalis. Most leaves are small (<3 mm long), scale-like and tightly appressed to the branches. There are always some leaves of this type present. On some plants there may also be longer, spreading awl-shaped leaves 3-6 mm in length, but most leaves will be of the first type. The leaves are often green or bluish green, but may develop a strong reddish coloring late in the growing season. The mature female cones are nearly spherical, blue, often glaucus berry-like structures, similar to the other Junipers.

Juniperus virginiana ranges across the eastern U.S.A. from southeastern South Dakota to Texas, east to Florida and New England. In Wisconsin it is found mostly in the southern half, and is especially prominent in the southwestern counties where it is common on the sandy soils and dry slopes near the Wisconsin River and on the rocky slopes of the immediate drainage area of the Mississippi River.


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