Common juniper, Juniperus communis, belongs to the large group of evergreen shrubs or tree in the Cypress Family (Cupressaceae). This article will give you facts, and a description on species of common junipers in this group.
Facts on Common Juniper Shrubs
In the wild, common juniper can be any type of flat or irregular shrub that might grow from 5’ to 10’ in height or width. The leaves vary from blue to gray-green to bronzy green in winter. This group of junipers are hardy in Zones 3-7. For general information on growing Junipers, consult “Which Juniper is Best”. Some varieties of common juniper may also fit into the dwarf juniper category and are often used as ground covers, while the larger varieties are used as landscape and foundation shrubs.
Description of Common Juniper Shrub Varieties
Juniperus communis ‘Compressa’, is very slow-growing, with a form of a dwarf column with blue-green leaves, and has an erect narrow growth habit. It is used in rock gardens, as accents, or in well-drained ornamental beds of miniature and dwarf conifers. It will reach 3-5’ high x 18” in width.
J. Communis var. Depressa ‘AmiDak’ (Blueberry Delight) has deep green needles with silver-blue line on topside of the leaf. It grows in Zones 3-7. AmiDak bears profuse blueberry-like cones when male cultivars grow nearby. Use this variety in sunny to partly shaded foundation plantings or as a groundcover. It will reach 15-22” high x 4-5’ in width.
J. Communis ‘Moundap’ (Alpine Carpet) which is Dark bluish-green, with a dense, prostrate habit, forming a carpetlike, low groundcover. Mondap will withstand extremes in temperature and humidity. It is hardy in Zone 3 and will reach 8’ high x 36-48” in width.
J. Communis ‘Sentinel’ is a slow-growing evergreen with silvery-blue, awl-shaped leaves. It is an outstanding shrub for garden accents or as a focal point. It is also very striking grouped in beds and borders. It is hardy to Zones 3-7 and will reach 6-12’ high x 1-2’ in width.