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.

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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.

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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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