Juniperus horizontalis, commonly called creeping juniper, is a procumbent evergreen shrub that is native to Alaska, Canada and the northern U.S. from New England to New York to the Great Lakes, Wyoming and Montana. Distribution in the northern U.S. is somewhat spotty. It is typically found growing in rocky or sandy soils including rock outcroppings, stony slopes, coastal cliffs, prairies, sand dunes and stream banks. It forms a low groundcover that generally rises to 6-18” tall but spreads by long trailing branches with abundant short branchlets to form an often-dense, 4-10’ wide mat. Foliage is primarily scale-like (adult) with some awl/needle-like (juvenile) needles appearing usually in opposite pairs. Foliage is typically green to blue-green during the growing season, but often acquires purple tones in winter. Fleshy seed cones (dark blue berries) generally mature in two years, but are often absent on cultivated plants.
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