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Juniperus chinensis


Juniperus chinensis

Family Name: Cupressaceae
Synonyms: Juniperus gaussenii
Common Name: Chinese Juniper, 圆柏

Juniperus chinensis is an evergreen tree with needle-like foliage and a compact conical form reminiscent of Christmas trees! While temperate countries use fir, spruce and pine trees, Juniperus chinensis is a great alternative for tropical Singapore. It does well under full sun with moderate water and is a great addition for the holiday season!


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names
Species Summary

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Gymnosperms (Non-Flowering Seed Plants) (Conifer)
Plant Growth Form Tree
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Conical


Native Distribution China & Japan
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Local Conservation Status Non-native (Horticultural / Cultivated Only)

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form An evergreen conifer shrub growing up to 20 m tall; branches ascending with branchlets straight or slightly curved. 
Crown Conical form.
Trunk Dark grey-brown bark colour, texture fissured longitudinally. 
Foliage Green, needle-like juvenile foliage are narrow, awl-shaped, about 8 mm long, in pairs or in three; adult leaves scale-like, in four ranks, lying flat along stem with opposite arrangement; stiff and pointed branches spread outward at about 45 degree of angle; texture fine. 
Flowers Solitary, terminal. 
Reproductive Parts - non-flowering plant Cones, pollen cones are yellow, shape oblong-ellipsoidal, measures 4 - 6 mm long and 2 - 3 mm wide. Seed cones are on short stalks, globose-shaped, colour purple-black to purple-brown, 4 - 10 mm in diameter, each cone has 1-4 seeds. 
Etymology The genus name Juniperus comes from an ancient Latin name, iuniperus (with cognates such as Juncus, for binding, Geneva and gin). The specific epithet chinensis means from China.
Ethnobotanical Uses Medicinal ( The Chinese obtain a liquor brewed from the fresh leaves and use it as a tonic to treat coughs with bleeding.)

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Form
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Well-Drained Soils
Landscape Uses Roadside Tree / Palm, Parks & Gardens, Hedge / Screening, Focal Plant, Bonsai

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Propagation Method Stem Cutting


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Scaly
Foliar Modification Reduced / Needle-like
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 4.0 (Tree - Dense Canopy)

Non - Foliar and Storage

Bark Colour(s) Greyish brown.

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Unisexual Flowers
Flower & Plant Sexuality 2 Dioecious
Flower Colour(s) White

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Yellow / Golden
Mature Seed Colour(s) Brown
Seed Description Seeds are ovoid in shape, blunt, keeled, triangular in shape from cross-section view, brown in colour. 
Seed Quantity Per Fruit Few (1-5)
Plant Sexuality (non-Angiosperm) Dioecious
Cone or Strobilus Type Arcesthida(Cupressaceae [Juniperus], Ephedraceae [Ephedra])

Image Repository



Master ID 1683
Species ID 2976
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 26 August 2021.