Juniperus virginiana

(Photo by Logan Petrey)

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Taxonomy (1)

Classification: Gymnosperm
Family: Cupressaceae
Common name: Red Cedar

General Information (1)

Region of Origin: Eastern North America and southeastern Canada
USDA Plants Hardiness Zones: 3-9
Growth Habit: Tree

  • Size: 40-60 feet tall
  • Deciduous/Evergreen: Evergreen
  • Cones: September-October
  • Other: Dioecious

Diagnostic Characteristics

Leaves (2)

  • Arrangement: Opposite
  • Simple/Compound: Simple
  • Shape: Needle (young); Scale (mature)

(Photo by Logan Petrey)

Stem/Bark (2)

  • Color: Grayish to reddish
  • Texture: Fibrous

(Photo by Logan Petrey)

Female cone (2)

  • Shape: Berry-like
  • Color: Blue
  • Texture: Leathery

Male cone (2)

  • Texture: Papery
  • Color: Yellow-brown

(Photo by Logan Petrey)

Horticultural Information (1)

  • Light: Full sun to shade
  • pH: Basic
  • Maintenance: Easy to care for
  • Landscape Uses: Shade tree
  • Other: Avoid dry and acidic regions, and do not plant near apple orchards as it is a host for Cedar-Apple rust.

Interesting Facts (1)

  • Red cedar wood is used to make fences posts and pencils.
  • The oil from the seed cones of Juniper trees are used to flavor gin.
  • Native Americans used the wood of red cedar for bows.


  1. Christman, S. (2012). Juniperus virginiana. Retrieved from
  2. United States Department of Agriculture (n.d.). Eastern Red Cedar. Retrieved from

Prepared by Logan Petrey as a course requirement for BIOL 3630/5630, Spring 2013
Edited by Jessica Bartek