New Mexico Plants: Cypress Family



Images are organized alphabetically by taxon. Hover over images with your mouse to control them.

Common Juniper (Juniperus communis)

A low shrub, rarely more than about knee height, this species is common in both Eurasia and North America. This species is most famous for contributing its berries to the flavoring of gin.


Alligator Juniper (Juniperus deppeana)

Also known as checker bark juniper. The bark is, in fact, the way to distinguish this species from other junipers.


One-Seed Juniper (Juniperus monosperma)

The hallmark of this juniper species is the bark, which is soft and easily shredded. No wonder that one informal name for this species is "shagbark juniper." Native Americans used the bark for everything from padding to slow matches.


Rocky Mountain Juniper (Juniperus scopulorum)

I found these examples of Rocky Mountain Juniper in the bottom of David Canyon, a typical habitat. In contrast with One-Seed Junipers, which are far more common in the Albuquerque area, Rocky Mountain Junipers have drooping branch tips. While the bark may look shaggy, if you try to shred it in your fingers you'll find that it's far stiffer than One-Seed Juniper bark.