Juniperus thurifera

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Juniperus thurifera
Juniperus thurifera at Prádena de la Sierra (Segovia, Spain)
Scientific classification
J. thurifera
Binomial name
Juniperus thurifera
Juniperus thurifera range.svg
Natural range
  • Juniperus africana (Maire) Villar
  • Juniperus bonatiana Vis.
  • Juniperus cinerea Carrière
  • Juniperus gallica (Coincy) Rouy
  • Juniperus hispanica Mill.
  • Juniperus sabinoides Endl. nom. illeg.
  • Sabina pseudothurifera Antoine
  • Sabina thurifera (L.) Antoine

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.[3][4]

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.[3][4][5][6]

There are two varieties, regarded as distinct by some authors,[3][5] but not by others:[4]

  • 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;[7] however, the African population is threatened by severe overgrazing, mainly by goats, and is listed as Endangered.[3][5]

In the Sierra de Solorio there is the largest Spanish Juniper forest in Europe.[8]

Close view of twig with berries

References and external links[edit]

  1. ^ Farjon, A. (2013). "Juniperus thurifera". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2013: e.T42255A2967372. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2013-1.RLTS.T42255A2967372.en. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
  2. ^ The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species, retrieved 11 February 2017
  3. ^ a b c d Adams, R. P. (2004). Junipers of the World. Trafford. ISBN 1-4120-4250-X
  4. ^ a b c Farjon, A. (2005). Monograph of Cupressaceae and Sciadopitys. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. ISBN 1-84246-068-4
  5. ^ a b c Ecology and conservation of Juniperus thurifera Juniperus thurifera website
  6. ^ Gymnosperm Database: Juniperus thurifera Archived 2006-03-15 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Conifer Specialist Group (1998). "Juniperus thurifera". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2006. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 12 May 2006.
  8. ^ El Sabinar más extenso de Europa