Juniperus virginiana L.

  • Family: Cupressaceae
  • Common names: eastern red cedar, red cedar, juniper

    Small or medium-sized evergreen coniferous tree to 10 m (35 ft) tall and 50 cm (20 in) in diameter. Bark brownish, soft, fibrous, and shreddy. Leaves of adult branchlets tightly appressed, broadly deltoid, obtuse or subacute, entire, about 1.5 mm (0.06 in) long. Cones berrylike, dark purple and glaucous when mature, one- or two-seeded, 6-10 mm (0.25-0.4 in) in diameter.

    Distribution: The species is found from the Gulf Coast north to New England, Kentucky, Missouri, and Oklahoma.
    Habitat: Red cedar is found in most habitats in Oklahoma, but is most abundant in old fields and grasslands that have been protected from fire.
    NWI status: FACU-
    Comment: Young red cedars are intolerant of fire, and the species was uncommon in Oklahoma before the country was settled. Juniperus is the ancient classical name for the old-world junipers; virginiana refers to the Virginia Colony, where it was discovered.

    Distribution in Oklahoma:

    Last update: 9/14/99
    Go to Oklahoma Biological Survey Home Page