Juniperus foetida flaccida (Schltdl.) Spach
Juniperus foetida squarrulosa Spach
Juniperus gracilis Endl.
Juniperus martinezii Pérez de la Rosa
Sabina flaccida (Schltdl.) Antoine
Common Name: Drooping Juniper
Juniperus flaccida is an evergreen tree with a globose crown and long, weeping, graceful branches; it can grow up to 12 metres tall. The single stem can be unbranched for 1 - 2 metres[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a source of wood. It is sometimes grown as an ornamental, especially in drier regions.
This is one of the most widespread of the junipers, ranging almost throughout Mexico and just into Texas. The plant is classified as 'Least Concern' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2013)[
Southern N. America - southwestern Texas to southern Mexico
Dry, rocky or sandy, igneous soils in canyons, benches, hillsides, and ridges, preferring well-drained sites[
]. Rocky soils and slopes; at elevations from 900 - 2,900 metres[
|Conservation Status||Least Concern
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Juniperus flaccida grows mainly in regions with hot summers, mild winters and low to medium rainfall. Where it grows in the Chisos Mountains of Mexico, for example, mean annual precipitation ranges from 220 - 680mm, with most falling in the warmer part of the year; temperatures rarely fall as low as freezing; and summer temperatures routinely exceed 40°c[
]. It succeeds outdoors in the milder regions of the temperate zone, where it has been known to tolerate short-lived temperatures down to around -8°c[
], and has been grown outdoors successfully in the moister, maritime climate of southwestern England[
Requires a sunny, sheltered position, Found in the wild in dry to moist, well-drained, rocky soils and slopes[
]. Established plants are very drought tolerant.
Drooping juniper is planted as an ornamental outside of its native range in the United States and in southern Europe and northern Africa[
A slow-growing but long-lived plant[
Large seed crops are produced every 2 to 3 years, with light crops produced in intervening years[
The tan-brown to brownish purple, globose seed cones mature in 1 year; around 9 - 20mm in diameter, they contain 4 - 13 seeds[
]. We have seen no reports regarding edibility.
The wood is durable. It is used for making fenceposts[
The wood is probably used for fuel[
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[
]. Soaking the seed for 3 - 6 seconds in boiling water may speed up the germination process[
]. 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[
Cuttings of mature wood, 5 - 10cm with a heel, September/early autumn in a cold frame. Plant out in the following autumn[
Layering in September/early autumn. Takes 12 months[