Juniperus communis

Tracheophyta PinopsidaCupressaceaeJuniperusJuniperus communis


J. communis is a dioecious evergreen conifer found on basic and acidic soils in a wide range of habitats, including chalk downland, heather moorland, oceanic heaths, rocky slopes and in Betula, Quercus and Pinus woods. Regeneration is inhibited by continuous grazing. 0-975 m (Braeriach, S. Aberdeen).



World Distribution

Circumpolar Boreo-temperate element.

© K.J. Walker, BSBI

Broad Habitats

Light (Ellenberg): 8

Moisture (Ellenberg): 5

Reaction (Ellenberg): 5

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 3


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 2.8

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 13.4

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1380

Life form information

Height (cm): 500

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary

Mega-, meso- and microphanerophyte

Life Form - secondary


Comment on Life Form

The upper size is a tree size; prostrate forms are chamaephytes.



Clonality - primary

Little or no vegetative spread

Distribution information

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 1020

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 145

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 0

Atlas Change Index: -0.42

Weighted Changed Factor: -9

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


Distribution information

JNCC Designations


External Species Accounts

PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish plants. (.zip 1455KB) This dataset was compiled and published in 2004, and last updated in November 2008. Download includes an Excel spreadsheet of the attributes, and a PDF explaining the background and nomenclature. Note that the PDF version is the booklet as published, whereas the Excel spreadsheet incorporates subsequent corrections. A hardcopy can be purchased from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

Atlas text references

Atlas (17a) Dearnley TC, Duckett JG
1999.  Juniper in the Lake District National Park. A review of condition and regeneration. Watsonia. 22:261-267. Hultén E, Fries M
1986.  Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Jalas & Suominen (1973) Meusel H, Jäger E, Weinert E
1965.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols.
Ward (1973