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Juniperus monosperma - (Engelm)Sarg.
Common Name One-Seed Juniper
Family Cupressaceae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Dry rocky or sandy soils, 1000 - 2300 metres[229].
Range South-western N. America - along the Rocky Mountains from Wyoming to Mexico.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun


Juniperus monosperma One-Seed Juniper

Juniperus monosperma One-Seed Juniper
Patrick J. Alexander @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of cone
Juniperus monosperma is an evergreen Tree growing to 18 m (59ft 1in) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower in April, and the seeds ripen in October. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required) and are pollinated by Wind.The plant is not self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.


Woodland Garden Canopy;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Fruit.
Edible Uses: Gum.

Fruit - raw or cooked. Soft, juicy and pulpy[81, 85, 105], but with a thin flesh[82]. It can be dried and ground into a powder and then be baked[82, 227], or can be used as a seasoning in stews etc[161, 257]. The fruits were only used when other foods were in short supply[257]. The cones are about 5 - 8mm in diameter and ripen in their first year[200]. Inner bark - raw or cooked[257]. It was chewed in times of food shortage for the little nourishment it supplied[257]. The gum is chewed as a delicacy[161, 257]. No further details are given.
Medicinal Uses

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Antiphlogistic;  Birthing aid;  Diuretic;  Febrifuge;  Laxative;  Odontalgic;  Pectoral;  Poultice;  

One-seed juniper was commonly employed medicinally by a number of native North American Indian tribes, who used it to treat a variety of complaints[257]. It is little, if at all, used in modern herbalism. The leaves are febrifuge, laxative and pectoral[216]. An infusion is used in the treatment of stomach complaints, constipation, coughs and colds[216]. An infusion was also used by pregnant women prior to childbirth in order to relax the muscles[257]. A poultice of the heated twigs can be bound over a bruise or sprain in order to reduce the swelling[257]. An infusion of the staminate cones has been used as a stomach tonic and in the treatment of dysentery[257]. The chewed bark has been applied externally to help heal spider bites[257]. It is also highly prized as a dressing on burns[257]. The fruits are strongly diuretic[257]. A gum from the plant has been used as a temporary filling in a decayed tooth[257].
Other Uses
Beads;  Dye;  Fibre;  Fuel;  Gum;  Lighting;  Mordant;  Tinder;  Wood.

Thin strips of the fibrous bark are used for making sleeping mats etc[82, 227]. It has also been used as a lining in shoes to absorb moisture and to keep the feet warmer[257]. When rubbed fine, the bark can be used to make children's clothing[257]. The bark is employed as a tinder and is also made into a slow match or can be shredded, bound into bundles and used as a torch to give light in the house[216, 257]. The crushed bark was twisted into a rope, tied at intervals with yucca (Yucca species), and wrapped into a coil. The free end was set on fire and kept smouldering by blowing on it at intervals. Fire could be carried in this fashion for several hours[257]. The dried seeds have been used as beads or as the 'rattle' in rattles[216, 257]. A green dye is obtained from the bark and berries[229, 257]. A yellow dye is obtained from the whole plant[257]. Ashes from the whole plant have been used as a mordant to fix the colour of dyes[257]. Wood - moderately hard, somewhat heavy, slightly fragrant. When seasoned properly it is very durable and is used mainly for fencing and fuel[82, 227, 229]. As a fuel it burns steadily and evenly[257].
Cultivation details
Succeeds in dry soils. Succeeds in most soils, including chalk, if they are well drained[1, 11, 200], preferring a neutral or slightly alkaline soil[11]. Trees are fairly fast growing for a Juniper, and are also long-lived in their native habitats[227]. They grow better in dry areas with hot summers, western Britain is generally to cool and wet for this species to thrive[200]. Plants are resistant to honey fungus[88]. This species is closely related to J. occidentalis[11]. The seed matures in 1 year[200]. Some fruit is produced most years, but heavy crops only occur every 2 - 3 years[229]. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.
The seed requires a period of cold stratification. The seed has a hard seedcoat and can be very slow to germinate, requiring a cold period followed by a warm period and then another cold spell, each of 2 - 3 months duration[78, 81]. Soaking the seed for 3 - 6 seconds in boiling water may speed up the germination process[11]. The seed is best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Some might germinate in the following spring, though most will take another year. Another possibility is to harvest the seed 'green' (when the embryo has fully formed but before the seedcoat has hardened). The seedlings can be potted up into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. Grow on in pots until large enough, then plant out in early summer. When stored dry, the seed can remain viable for several years[1]. Cuttings of mature wood, 5 - 10cm with a heel, September/October in a cold frame. Plant out in the following autumn[1, 78]. Layering in September/October. Takes 12 months[78].
Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Juniperus asheiAshe Juniper, Mountain Cedar10
Juniperus californicaCalifornian Juniper, Chuperosa21
Juniperus chinensisChinese Juniper, Sargent juniper02
Juniperus communisJuniper, Common juniper33
Juniperus communis nanaJuniper33
Juniperus confertaShore Juniper20
Juniperus deppeanaAligator Juniper30
Juniperus drupaceaSyrian Juniper30
Juniperus excelsaGrecian Juniper21
Juniperus horizontalisCreeping Juniper, Horizontal Juniper21
Juniperus occidentalisWestern Juniper32
Juniperus osteospermaDesert Juniper, Utah juniper22
Juniperus oxycedrusPrickly Juniper, Cade juniper01
Juniperus recurvaHimalayan Juniper11
Juniperus rigidaTemple Juniper, Needle Juniper21
Juniperus sabinaSavine, Tam Juniper02
Juniperus scopulorumRocky Mountain Juniper, Weeping Rocky Mountian Juniper, Colorado Red Cedar32
Juniperus silicicolaSouthern Redcedar, Juniper, Southern Red Cedar22
Juniperus squamataFlaky Juniper01
Juniperus tetragona 20
Juniperus virginianaPencil Cedar, Eastern redcedar, Southern redcedar, Silver Cedar, Burk Eastern Red Cedar, Silver East22


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Subject : Juniperus monosperma  

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