Pollen cones and Seed cones
Juniperus monosperma is a USA-NPN regional plant species. Regional species are ecologically or economically important but are distributed more locally than calibration species. The NPN integrates these observations to understand better plant responses within the different geographic regions of the nation. In addition, this species is an allergen. Observations on its phenology will provide valuable information to benefit people with allergies and the public health community.
The Juniper Pollen Project is interested in obtaining phenology data for this species. Please consider contributing to this special study on the timing of pollen release and its effects on human health. You can learn more at Juniper Pollen Project.
Juniperus monosperma is an evergreen, coniferous, perennial shrub or small tree 12 to 36 feet tall with a heavily branched trunk. Its bark is gray to brown, thin, and scaly. The scale-like foliage is dark green and fragrant; mistletoe often grows in its canopy.The trees are dioecious with the male (pollen) and female (seed) cones on different plants. Seeds of oneseed juniper are dispersed through runoff, gravity, and birds and mammals.
Oneseed juniper has low water use and is tolerant of shade. It likes gravelly or sandy dry soils; dry, rocky slopes, arroyos; dry plains and hills. This species of juniper is tolerant to cold, wind, and drought. It occurs at elevations of 281 to 546 feet (515 1,000 to 2,300 m).
Birds and mammals consume the fleshy, berry-like seeds, and goats browse the foliage. This plant provides shelter for a variety of wildlife.
You should observe...
Here are the phenophases you should observe about this plant.
One or more fresh male pollen cones (strobili) are visible on the plant. Cones have overlapping scales that are initially tightly closed, then spread apart to open the cone and release pollen. Do not include wilted or dried cones that have released all of their pollen but remain on the plant.
|Open pollen cones
One or more open fresh male pollen cones (strobili) are visible on the plant. Cones are considered "open" when the scales have spread apart to release pollen. Do not include wilted or dried cones that have released all of their pollen but remain on the plant.
One or more male cones (strobili) on the plant release pollen when gently shaken or blown.
||Unripe seed cones
One or more unripe female seed cones are visible on the plant.
|Ripe seed cones
One or more ripe female seed cones are visible on the plant.
|Recent seed cone drop
One or more mature seed cones or seeds have dropped or been removed from the plant since your last visit. Do not include obviously immature seed cones that have dropped before ripening, such as in a heavy rain or wind.
Note that individuals of this species with only male cones will not produce fruit.
This juniper is one of the most common small trees in New Mexico; its wood is used for fenceposts and fuel. Native Americans used the fibrous bark to make mats and cloth, the fruit to make necklaces, the leaves and twigs medicinally, and the bark and wood for firewood and in ceremonies. Juniperus monosperma is native to the U.S. and is in the Cupressaceae (cypress) family.
Gardens with this plant