Eastern Red Cedar

Juniperus virginiana Cupressaceae

Growth habit



Long-lived polycarpic perennial

Native distribution

North America, East of the Rockies


Mundy Wildflower Garden

Source of plant

Horticultural Associates


Trees dioecious, to 30 m, single-stemmed; crown narrowly erect to conical, round, or flattened. Bark brown, exfoliating in thin strips, that of small branchlets (5--10 mm diam.) smooth, that of larger branchlets usually not exfoliating in plates. Branches pendulous to ascending; branchlets generally erect, sometimes lax to flaccid, 3--4-sided in cross section, ca. 2/3 or less as wide as length of scalelike leaves. Leaves green but sometimes turning reddish brown in winter, abaxial gland elliptic or elongate, conspicuous, exudate absent, margins entire (at 20´ and 40´); whip leaves 3--6 mm, not glaucous adaxially; scalelike leaves 1--3 mm, overlapping by more than 1/4 their length, keeled, apex obtuse to acute, spreading. Seed cones maturing in 1 year, of 1 size, generally with straight peduncles, globose to ovoid, 3--6(--7) mm, blue-black to brownish blue when mature, glaucous, soft and resinous, with 1--2(--3) seeds. Seeds 1.5--4 mm.

USDA Hardiness Zone