Juniperus taxifolia var. lutchuensis: Ryukyu shore Juniper, Creeping Juniper

Juniperus taxifolia [Bonin Islands Juniper] is a species of juniper, endemic to the Bonin Islands southeast of Japan.


It is an evergreen coniferous shrub growing to a height of 1-3 m [rarely a small tree to 13 m tall]. The leaves are needle-like, in whorls of three, light green, 7-14 mm long and 1-1.5 mm broad, with a double white stomatal band [split by a green midrib] on the inner surface. It is dioecious, with separate male and female plants. The seed cones are berry-like, green ripening in 18 months to reddish-brown with a variable light waxy coating; they are spherical, 8-10 mm diameter, and have six or nine fused scales in two or three whorls of three; the three larger scales each with a single seed. The seeds are dispersed when birds eat the cones, digesting the fleshy scales and passing the hard seeds in their droppings.


Some authors include Juniperus lutchuensis from the Ryukyu Islands in Juniperus taxifolia as a synonym, or variety.

Photos: Gardens by the BaySingapore [20140305]

Source: Wikipedia


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