(Canary Islands Juniper) is a species of juniper, native to the western Canary Islands (Tenerife, La Palma, Gran Canaria, Gomera) and Madeira (J.
cedrus Webb & Berthel. subsp. maderensis
(Menezes) Rivas Mart.
& al.) , where it occurs at
altitudes of 500-2400 m. It is closely related to Juniperus oxycedrus
Juniper) of the Mediterranean
(Azores Juniper) of the Azores
It is a large shrub
growing to a height of 5-20 m (rarely 25 m). The
needle-like, in whorls of three, green to glaucous-green, 8-23 mm
long and 1-2 mm broad, with a double white stomatal band (split by
a green midrib) on the inner surface. It is usually dioecious
, with separate male and female
plants. The seed cones
-like, green ripening in 18 months to orange-red
with a variable pink waxy coating; they are spherical, 8-15 mm
diameter, and have six fused scales in two whorls of three; the
three larger scales each with a single seed
The seeds are dispersed when birds
cones, digesting the fleshy scales and passing the hard seeds in
their droppings. The male cones are yellow, 2-3 mm long, and fall
soon after shedding their pollen
It is endangered
in its native
range due to a combination of historical felling for the valuable
wood, and overgrazing by goats
. It has been
fully protected since 1953 and populations are very slowly
recovering. Historical reports suggest trees up to 30 m tall
occurred in the past; trees over 10 m are very rare now and
confined to inaccessible cliffs.
occasionally grown as an ornamental
tree in warm temperate climates, including New Zealand, the British Isles and California, but is not common in cultivation.
also some small experimental plantations
on the Canary Islands, where it has shown fast growth in good
conditions, reaching about 14-15 m tall in 40 years.
References and external links