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Uses

Edible uses

Notes

Fruit - raw or cooked[1][2][3]. A thin flesh, it is sweet but strongly flavoured of resin and has a mealy texture[2][4][5]. Used as a flavouring in stews[6][7]. The fruit can be eaten fresh or it can be dried and ground into a powder then baked into cakes[8][2][9]. The cones are about 6 - 18mm in diameter, they take 2 years to mature[10].

Fruit

Material uses

A wax on the fruit is obtained by simmering the fruit in hot water and skimming off the wax as it rises to the surface. The wax can be used to make aromatic candles[4].

The bark is employed as a tinder and is also made into a slow match[6][7]. The crushed bark was twisted into a rope, tied at intervals with yucca (Yucca species), and wrapped into a coil. The free end was set on fire and kept smouldering by blowing on it at intervals. Fire could be carried in this fashion for several hours[7]. The bark has been used as a thatching on the roofs of buildings[7]. The dried seeds have been used as beads or as the 'rattle' in rattles[6]. An infusion of the plant has been used as a hair wash[7]. The plant has been burnt as an incense and fumigant in the home[7].

Wood - soft, close-grained, slightly fragrant[2]. It is used occasionally for fuel, fencing etc[2][5].

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Desert juniper was widely employed medicinally by a number of native North American Indian tribes who used it to treat a variety of complaints, especially those connected to the bladder and kidneys and to the skin[7]. It is little, if at all, used in modern herbalism.

The leaves are antiseptic, blood tonic and laxative[6][7]. A decoction is used in the treatment of constipation[6]. A poultice of the leaves has been applied to the jaw to treat toothaches and sore and swollen gums[7]. A decoction of the young twigs has been used in the treatment of stomach aches, kidney complaints, haemorrhages, coughs and colds[7]. Fumes from the burning twigs have been inhaled in the treatment of headaches and colds[7]. The branches have been used in a sweat bath to treat rheumatism[7]. A strong decoction has been used as an antiseptic wash on sores[7]. A poultice of the mashed twigs has been used as a dressing on burns and swellings[7]. The seeds are analgesic[7]. They have been eaten in the treatment of headaches[7].

The fruits are analgesic, blood tonic and diuretic[7]. A decoction has been used to relieve the pain of menstrual cramps, to induce urination and to treat kidney complaints, fevers, coughs and colds[7]. Externally, a decoction has been used as a poultice on rheumatic joints[7].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Canopy

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

The seed requires a period of cold stratification. The seed has a hard seedcoat and can be very slow to germinate, requiring a cold period followed by a warm period and then another cold spell, each of 2 - 3 months duration[11][12]. Soaking the seed for 3 - 6 seconds in boiling water may speed up the germination process[13]. The seed is best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Some might germinate in the following spring, though most will take another year. Another possibility is to harvest the seed 'green' (when the embryo has fully formed but before the seedcoat has hardened). The seedlings can be potted up into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. Grow on in pots until large enough, then plant out in early summer. When stored dry, the seed can remain viable for several years[14].

Cuttings of mature wood, 5 - 10cm with a heel, September/October in a cold frame. Plant out in the following autumn[14][11].

Layering in September/October. Takes 12 months[11].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Juniperus osteosperma. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Succeeds in most soils if they are well drained, preferring a neutral or slightly alkaline soil[14][13]. Thrives in calcareous soils[14]. A drought tolerant plant once established, succeeding in hot dry positions[10].

A slow-growing but long-lived tree, specimens several centuries old have been recorded[5]. It grows better in dry areas with hot summers, western Britain is generally to cool and wet for this species to thrive[10]. Good crops of fruit are produced in alternate years in the wild[5]. Closely related to J. californica[14][2]. This species is resistant to honey fungus[15]. The seed takes 2 years to mature[10].

Plants are usually dioecious, though occasional trees with both male and female flowers are sometimes found[5]. Male and female plants must usually be grown if seed is required.

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Juniperus osteosperma. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Juniperus osteosperma.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Juniperus osteosperma
Genus
Juniperus
Family
Cupressaceae
Imported References
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
5
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
no shade
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
  • Drought
Ecosystems
Native Climate Zones
None listed.
Adapted Climate Zones
None listed.
Native Geographical Range
None listed.
Native Environment
None listed.
Ecosystem Niche
Root Zone Tendancy
None listed.
Life
Deciduous or Evergreen
Herbaceous or Woody
Life Cycle
Growth Rate
Mature Size
Fertility
Pollinators
Flower Colour
?
Flower Type

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References

  1. ? 1.01.1 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
  2. ? 2.02.12.22.32.42.52.62.72.8 Sargent. C. S. Manual of the Trees of N. America. Dover Publications Inc. New York. ISBN 0-486-20278-X (1965-00-00)
  3. ? 3.03.1 Saunders. C. F. Edible and Useful Wild Plants of the United States and Canada. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-23310-3 (1976-00-00)
  4. ? 4.04.14.24.3 Harrington. H. D. Edible Native Plants of the Rocky Mountains. University of New Mexico Press ISBN 0-8623-0343-9 (1967-00-00)
  5. ? 5.05.15.25.35.45.55.6 Elias. T. The Complete Trees of N. America. Field Guide and Natural History. Van Nostrand Reinhold Co. ISBN 0442238622 (1980-00-00)
  6. ? 6.06.16.26.36.46.56.66.7 Whiting. A. F. Ethnobotany of the Hopi North Arizona Society of Science and Art (1939-00-00)
  7. ? 7.007.017.027.037.047.057.067.077.087.097.107.117.127.137.147.157.167.177.187.197.207.21 Moerman. D. Native American Ethnobotany Timber Press. Oregon. ISBN 0-88192-453-9 (1998-00-00)
  8. ? 8.08.1 Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
  9. ? 9.09.1 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
  10. ? 10.010.110.210.310.410.5 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
  11. ? 11.011.111.2 Sheat. W. G. Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers. MacMillan and Co (1948-00-00)
  12. ? Rushforth. K. Conifers. Christopher Helm ISBN 0-7470-2801-X (1987-00-00)
  13. ? 13.013.113.2 Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981-00-00)
  14. ? 14.014.114.214.314.4 F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
  15. ? RHS. The Garden. Volume 112. Royal Horticultural Society (1987-00-00)

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Facts about "Juniperus osteosperma"RDF feed
Article is incompleteYes +
Article requires citationsNo +
Article requires cleanupYes +
Belongs to familyCupressaceae +
Belongs to genusJuniperus +
Has binomial nameJuniperus osteosperma +
Has common nameDesert Juniper +
Has drought toleranceTolerant +
Has edible partFruit +
Has edible useUnknown use +
Has environmental toleranceDrought +
Has fertility typeSelf sterile + and Wind +
Has flowers of typeDioecious +
Has growth rateSlow +
Has hardiness zone5 +
Has imageTree Canyonlands National Park.jpg +
Has lifecycle typePerennial +
Has material partUnknown part +
Has material useBeads +, Fuel +, Hair care +, Incense +, Thatching +, Tinder +, Wax + and Wood +
Has mature height12 +
Has medicinal partUnknown part +
Has medicinal useAnalgesic +, Antiseptic +, Blood tonic +, Diuretic +, Kidney +, Laxative +, Odontalgic +, Poultice + and Salve +
Has primary imageTree Canyonlands National Park.jpg +
Has search namejuniperus osteosperma + and desert juniper +
Has shade toleranceNo shade +
Has soil ph preferenceAcid +, Neutral +, Alkaline + and Very alkaline +
Has soil texture preferenceSandy +, Loamy + and Clay +
Has soil water retention preferenceWell drained +
Has sun preferenceFull sun +
Has taxonomic rankSpecies +
Has taxonomy nameJuniperus osteosperma +
Has water requirementsmoderate +
Inhabits ecosystem nicheCanopy +
Is deciduous or evergreenEvergreen +
Is herbaceous or woodyWoody +
Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
PFAF cultivation notes migratedNo +
PFAF edible use notes migratedNo +
PFAF material use notes migratedNo +
PFAF medicinal use notes migratedNo +
PFAF propagation notes migratedNo +
PFAF toxicity notes migratedYes +
Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
Uses mature size measurement unitMeters +
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