California Juniper berries are yummy for wildlife. Juniperus californica Juniperus californica, California Juniper
Common Name California Juniper
Latin Name Juniperus californica
Family / Origin Cupressaceae /
Sunset zones / USDA zones 3, 6-12, 14-24 / 8-10
Type / Form Bush / Large
Native Habitat 0 to 5,000 in mostly California deserts
Soil Dry to moist, decomposed granite, sand, clay loam, low to some organic content, well drained
Exposure Full sun
Water None once established
Height X Width 20 feet X 20 feet
Protective Mechanism None
Leaves Green, evergreen cedar-like
Flowers Dioecious; males are small, pale yellow, in large clusters at ends of twigs; females are small, round, pale green.
Bark / Roots Gray with reddish brown furrows and long, scaly, irregular ridges.  Twigs slender to moderate, round, initially covered with tight, yellow-green, scale-like leaves, later turning reddish brown.
Miantenance None
Propogation

The seed requires a period of cold stratification. The seed has a hard seedcoat and can be very slow to germinate, requiring a cold period followed by a warm period and then another cold spell, each of 2 - 3 months duration. Soaking the seed for 3 - 6 seconds in boiling water may speed up the germination process. The seed is best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Some might germinate in the following spring, though most will take another year. Another possibility is to harvest the seed 'green' (when the embryo has fully formed but before the seedcoat has hardened). The seedlings can be potted up into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. Grow on in pots until large enough, then plant out in early summer. When stored dry, the seed can remain viable for several years. Cuttings of mature wood, 5 - 10cm with a heel, September/October in a cold frame. Plant out in the following autumn. Layering in September/October. Takes 12 months.

Pests and Diseases None
Landscape Uses Erosion control, low maintenance, background, specimen
Garden Suitability Songbird (Fragrant but not recommended for a Fragrance Garden to to high pollen output), Ethnobotanical
Nature Value Soil stabilizer, seeds eaten by birds and mammals
Native American Uses Berries used as a famine food, branches used to make bows
Links  
    Photos http://www.calflora.net/bloomingplants/californiajuniper.html
    Images and data http://www.nearctica.com/trees/conifer/juniper/Jcalif.htm
    Images and data http://www.conifers.org/cu/ju/californica.htm
    Images and data http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juniperus_californica
    Images and data http://www.calflora.org/cgi-bin/species_query.cgi?where-calrecnum=4503
    Images and data http://www.nearctica.com/trees/conifer/juniper/Jcalif.htm
    Images and data http://swbiodiversity.org/seinet/taxa/index.php?taxon=2849
    Images and data http://www.cnr.vt.edu/dendro/dendrology/syllabus/factsheet.cfm?ID=657
    Images and data http://mojavedesert.net/plants/shrubs/juniper.html
    Images and data http://www.enature.com/fieldguides/detail.asp?recNum=TS0007
    Images and data http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/57548/
    Data http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=1&taxon_id=233500723
    Data http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Juniperus+californica
    Data http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/tree/juncal/all.html
    Distribution map http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=JUCA7
    Images, data, and nursery http://www.laspilitas.com/plants/367.htm
    Images, data, and nursery http://www.cnplx.info/nplx/species?taxon=Juniperus+californica
    Nursery Oak Hills Nursery, 13874 Ranchero Road, Oak Hills, 92345, 760-947-6261
  Note:  Extremely high pollinator.  Not recommended for persons with asthma or allergies.  Fire fuel plant.
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