Utah Juniper

Genus Juniperus
Cypress Family (Cupressaceae)






Utah Juniper
(Juniperus osteosperma)


The juniper tree is one of the dominant members of the Pinyon/Juniper community, a widespread habitat on the hillsides throughout the southwestern states.
The species name osteosperma means "bony seed". The seeds are enclosed in a hard brown shell which is covered with a grayish green coating. They look like bluish colored berries, but are actually the female cones of the plant.
The Utah Juniper usually has only one seed per berry. Other species may have two or three seeds in each berry.



Utah Juniper
   Photograph by Sandra Bray

Utah Juniper
   Photograph by Sandra Bray



The trees appear to be covered with little scaly twigs, and to have no needles or leaves. Actually each tiny green scale is a leaf.






Government Creek Cove
Boulder Mountain
Wayne County, Utah


References


Photographed
by Sandra Bray