Trees dioecious, to 20 m, single-stemmed (rarely multistemmed); crown conic to occasionally rounded. Bark brown, exfoliating in thin strips, that of small branchlets (5--10 mm diam.) smooth, that of larger branchlets exfoliating in plates. Branches spreading to ascending; branchlets erect to flaccid, 3--4-sided in cross section, ca. 2/3 or less as wide as length of scalelike leaves. Leaves light to dark green but often glaucous blue or blue-gray, abaxial gland elliptic, conspicuous, exudate absent, margins entire (at 20´ and 40´); whip leaves 3--6 mm, not glaucous adaxially; scalelike leaves 1--3 mm, not overlapping to overlapping by not more than 1/5 their length, keeled to rounded, apex obtuse to acute, appressed or spreading. Seed cones maturing in 2 years, of 2 distinct sizes, generally with straight peduncles, globose to 2-lobed, 6--9 mm, appearing light blue when heavily glaucous, but dark blue-black beneath glaucous coating when mature (or tan beneath glaucous coating when immature), resinous to fibrous, with (1--)2(--3) seeds. Seeds 4--5 mm. 2 n = 22.
Rocky soils, slopes, and eroded hillsides; 1200--2700 m (0 m at Vancouver Island and Puget Sound); Alta., B.C.; Ariz., Colo., Idaho, Mont., Nebr., Nev., N.Mex., N.Dak., Oreg., S.Dak., Utah, Wash., Wyo.; n Mexico.
Juniperus scopulorum hybridizes with its eastern relative J . virginiana in zones of contact in the Missouri River basin (C. W. Comer et al. 1982) and with J . horizontalis ( J . ´ fassettii Boivin; N. C. Fassett 1945). Relictual hybridization with J . virginiana is known in the Texas panhandle (R. P. Adams 1983).
Plant: tree; 5-20 m; dioecious; bark dark red-brown weathering grayish, scaly, furrowed Leaves: decussate, closely appressed, scale-like; gland obscure; margin entire under magnification, sometimes hyaline Cones: POLLEN CONES terminal, about 2 mm long, oblong; SEED CONES terminal, (4)6-9 mm, spheric to ovoid, green with bloom, maturing blue-black usually with waxy white bloom in second year, usually resinous to sweet Fruit: SEEDS (1-)2(-3) per cone, 4-5 mm long, pointed, grooved, angled, light brown Misc: Canyon bottoms or mountains; juniper or conifer woodland, ponderosa pine forest, grassland, montane riparian; 1100-2750 m; (3600-9000 ft); Apr-Jun REFERENCES: Bartel, Jim A. 1994. Cupressaceae. J. Ariz. - Nev. Acad. Sci. Volume 27, 195-200.
Bartel 1993, Martin and Hutchins 1980
Common Name: Rocky Mountain juniper Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Tree General: Tree 5-20 m tall, dioecious with dark red-brown bark, weathering grayish, scaly, furrowed; crown irregularly spreading to pyramidal. Needles: Decussate, closely appressed, scale-like, obscure gland, margin entire under magnification, sometimes hyaline. Cones: Pollen cones terminal, about 2 mm long, oblong; seed cones terminal, 6-9 mm, spheric to ovoid, green with bloom, maturing blue-black usually with waxy white bloom in second year, usually resinous to sweet. Seeds: Usually 2 per cone, 4-5 mm long, pointed, grooved, angled, light brown. Ecology: Found in canyon bottoms, often on dry, and rocky slopes from 3500-9000 ft (1067-2743 m); flowers April-June. Notes: Distinctive in cooler canyon bottom sites with its drooping branch tips and bluish-green color. Ethnobotany: Used to prevent vomiting, for arthritis and rheumatism, for colds, coughing, for fevers, to help promote delivery, for pneumonia, as a sedative, for sore throat, diarrhea, to stop hemorrhages, for cleansing and healing after birth, and it was used ceremonially. Etymology: Juniperus is the Latin name for juniper, while scopulorum means growing on cliff, or projecting rocks. Synonyms: Juniperus scopulorum var. columnaris, Juniperus virginiana subsp. scopulorum, Juniperus virginiana var. montana, Juniperus virginiana var. scopulorum, Sabina scopulorum Editor: SBuckley, 2010