Rocky Mountain Juniper

Yashasvi SaxenaNov 24 . 8 min read

Heya pretty people!

Today, let us talk about something that reminds me that the Christmas season is knocking on our doors! I’ll let you guys make some wild guesses about what I’m talking about. Well, it is something that looks like a cone and is usually green. Did anyone figure it out yet?

Let us cut the chase and come straight to today’s haul!

Today’s guest on our very own Talk Show is Juniperus scopulorum or Rocky Mountain Juniper. This conifer makes me reminiscent of Christmas Carols and Hot Chocolate. Do you feel this way too?

Now you know that today is gonna be all about Mountain juniper, so why waste any more time? Let us get started!

Disclaimer: Please consult a doctor or registered medical practitioner before attempting any of the cures suggested on

About Rocky Mountain Juniper

Juniperus scopulorum or, as we call it, Rocky Mountain Juniper is an evergreen conifer that is found at an altitude of 1600 to 8900 feet. It is indigenous to regions like Canada, western North America, in regions of the United States, Mexico, and Texas. 

It grows on dry soil mostly with the other species of Juniper around it. 

What Is A Juniper Tree?

Okay, so let us talk more about appearance. 

These Juniper evergreen shrubs are short in height, ranging from 5 to 15 metres. The Juniper tree leaves spread out in beautiful geometric symmetry. Each leaf pair is at a right angle to the pair above and below it. Gorgeous, right? The leaves are 1 to 3 millimetres in length and 1 to 1.5 millimetres in width. The trunk is no more than 1 to 2 metres, so the major part is covered by this geometric green sheath. Juniper needles emerge from the young seedlings when they start to germinate.

Juniper pollens are shed in early spring. Another interesting thing about Juniper is that it has cones of only one sexuality on a tree. These Juniper cones are about 2 to 4 millimetres long.

Trivia Time: Rocky Juniper is an aromatic plant. Juniper essential oil has several benefits including antibacterial action, relieving skin irritation, and excellent sleeping aid. The major constituents of juniper essential oil are cis-thujopsene, α-pinene, cedrol, allo-aromadendrene epoxide, (E)-caryophyllene, and widdrol.

Juniper Tree Types

Though we’re talking just of Rocky Mountain Junipers, this doesn’t mean there aren’t other relatives of this evergreen conifer. The Juniper trees belong to the genus Juniperus and to the coniferous family Cupressaceae. These trees are generally tall, ranging from 20 to 40 metres except for some species like our Mountain Juniper which are no more than 20 metres high. The highest known Juniper forest is in the Himalayas and Tibet at an altitude of 16000 feet. There are a total of around 70 species of Juniper known to date. 

Juniper Tree Identification

What does a juniper tree look like?

Junipers are always green or evergreen. This is the first key point to have in mind when looking out for Juniper. Next, the Juniper leaves are pointed and pricky but also soft at the same time. A central branch connects all the pairs of leaves that are further geometrically arranged in groups of three. These leaves appear glossy. So, the next time you visit a forest, I need you guys to look out for these beauties!

Trivia Time: Jardine Juniper, a Rocky Mountain Juniper found in the Cache National Forest in Utah, is about 1500 years old. There is also a region in New Mexico wherein the trees found are suspected to be older than 2000 years. Another dead stem was found in the region. This heartwood tree had around 1888 rings in it which validates the aforementioned statement even more. This proves Junipers sturdiness and ability to withstand adverse physical and climatic conditions. 

Can You Eat Juniper Berries?

If you’re the one searching for answers to questions like ‘Are juniper berries edible?’ or ‘Are juniper berries poisonous?’, then this is the right place you’ve come. From Juniper tree berries to its utilities, we’ve got you covered.

Coming to the fact of are Juniper berries edible or not, I would like to propose that yes, they’re edible. But if you ask me if the berries of all kinds of Junipers are edible, I would propose that you may not try to have them. I state this majorly due to the fact that most of the berries are too bitter to be consumed raw and some of the species give off berries that might be poisonous. 

The safest Juniper berry to be consumed is the Common Juniper. These are majorly found in Asia, Europe, and North America. 

Juniper: Uses & Benefits

Let us list down the reasons and facts due to which we’re here talking of Juniper or why we should consider giving a chunk of our time reading and learning about it.

  1. Juniper, as you know, is an aromatic tree. Due to this, it is used as an active ingredient in fabricating fragrances and perfumes. You might have unknowingly used some fragranced cosmetics which contain Juniper.
  2. Juniper has antibacterial properties. It can be used as an excellent floor cleaner and can be more effective than any other store-bought cleaning agent.
  3. The Essential Oil extracted from Juniper is used to treat UTIs or Urinary Tract Infections. 
  4. It is also used in the treatment of kidney and bladder stones.
  5. It improves digestion, relieves bloating, loss of appetite, intestinal worms and gastrointestinal infections.
  6. Juniper oil is also used to treat skin infections and inflammations. Due to its anti-bacterial properties, it is used to treat acne and skin irritations. It is also effective against rashes.
  7. Juniper is also used as an ingredient in anti-dandruff shampoos and conditioners. It helps reduce dandruff and softens hair naturally.
  8. Have troubles in sleep? Or, are you stressed out because of your busy schedule? Juniper Essential Oil can be the drop of relief for you!

From fragrance to your faeces, our small Juniper tree has got you 100 per cent covered. And a cherry on top is its appearance due to which it can also be used as a Christmas Tree (Tbh, when I first saw Juniper, I thought it was a Christmas Tree. Joke’s on me, ik.) 

So, with these words of wisdom, I take a leave. See you soon, fam!

More from Vedifly