Juniperus thurifera

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Juniperus thurifera
Juniperus-thurifera-01.jpg
Juniperus thurifera at Prádena de la Sierra (Segovia, Spain)
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales
Family: Cupressaceae
Genus: Juniperus
Species: J. thurifera
Binomial name
Juniperus thurifera
L.

Juniperus thurifera (Spanish Juniper) is a species of juniper native to the mountains of the western Mediterranean region, from southern France (including Corsica) across eastern and central Spain to Morocco and locally in northern Algeria.[1][2]

It large shrub or tree reaching 6-20 m tall, with a trunk up to 2 m diameter and a broadly conical to rounded or irregular crown. The foliage is strongly aromatic, with a spicy-resinous scent. The leaves are of two forms, juvenile needle-like leaves 8-10 mm long on seedlings and irregularly on adult plants, and adult scale-leaves 0.6-3 mm long on older plants; they are arranged in decussate opposite pairs. It is dioecious with separate male and female plants. The cones are berry-like, 7-12 mm in diameter, blue-black with a whitish waxy bloom, and contain 1-4 seeds; they are mature in about 18 months. The male cones are 3-4 mm long, and shed their pollen in early spring.[1][2][3][4]

There are two varieties, regarded as distinct by some authors,[1][3] but not by others:[2]

  • Juniperus thurifera var. thurifera. Spain, France. Mature cones 8-12 mm, with 2-4 seeds.
  • Juniperus thurifera var. africana Maire. Morocco, Algeria. Mature cones 7-8 mm, with 1-2 seeds.

Overall, the species is not considered threatened with healthy population in Spain;[5] however, the African population is threatened by severe overgrazing, mainly by goats, and is listed as Endangered.[1][3]

In the Sierra de Solorio there is the largest Spanish Juniper forest in Europe.[6]

Close view of twig with berries

References and external links[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Adams, R. P. (2004). Junipers of the World. Trafford. ISBN 1-4120-4250-X
  2. ^ a b c Farjon, A. (2005). Monograph of Cupressaceae and Sciadopitys. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. ISBN 1-84246-068-4
  3. ^ a b c Ecology and conservation of Juniperus thurifera Juniperus thurifera website
  4. ^ Gymnosperm Database: Juniperus thurifera
  5. ^ Conifer Specialist Group (1998). Juniperus thurifera. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 12 May 2006.
  6. ^ El Sabinar más extenso de Europa