Utah Juniper (Utah Cedar)
Family: Cupressaceae – Cypress Family
Juniperus osteosperma is the only species from this family represented at Arches National Park. Evergreen tree - conifer; 6.6' to 13.2' (2 to 4 m) tall
Leaves: scalelike or awl-shaped; evergreen; leaves typically opposite; leaves have a conspicuous resin gland on the back
Flowers: conifer (see cone description under fruits)
Pollinators: wind; not self-fertile
Fruits: staminate (male) cones brown at the terminal ends or in joints between the leaf and stem 0.12” to 0.16” (3 to 4 mm) long; ovulate (female) cones becoming blue at maturity and look berrylike 0.24” to 0.48” (6 to 12 mm) thick or more
Blooms in Arches National Park: March, April, May
Habitat in Arches National Park: riparian, desert shrub and pinyon-juniper communities
Location seen: widespread
Other: The genus name, “Juniperus”, is the Latin name for "juniper" and the species name, “osteosperma”, comes from the Greek and means "hard or bony seed".
The bark is shreddy. The oldest Utah juniper in Utah has been aged at more than 1275 years.
Did You Know?
Even though graffiti is prohibited by law, rangers and volunteer groups spend hundreds of hours every year removing it in Arches. Please join us in protecting the park by not leaving your mark. If you discover graffiti in the park, please let us know. Otherwise, make memories, take pictures, but leave no visible trace of your visit. More...