|Alligator Juniper, Juniperus deppeana.|
Yarnell, Arizona. 3-20-2007.
|Alligator Juniper, Bark.||Juniperus deppeana, Bark.|
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An evergreen tree growing to 55 feet at a slow rate. It is in leaf all year and in flower from March to May. The seeds ripen from October to November. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required) and they are pollinated by Wind. The tree is non-flowering (produces only pollen cones or seed cones).
Alligator Juniper received its common name from the thick, checkered, furrowed bark, which is divided into scales that resemble the skin of the backs of alligators.
Alligator Juniper is very slow growing, and lives typically from about 500 to 800 years. There are radiocarbon records of it living 1,100 to 1,400 years.
Considered a Xeriscape Plant for high elevations.
This is the largest Juniper in the area, and it occurs at the highest elevations.
Height: Up to 55 feet tall, 1 - 2 feet in diameter; with a short trunk and a wide spreading crown.
Flowers: Dioecious; males are small pale yellow in large clusters at ends of twigs; females are small, round pale green.
Flowering Time: March - May.
Cones: Berry-like cones, round, 1/2 inch in diameter, reddish brown often with white glaucous bloom, scales often with a blunt point, 3 to 5 seeds per cone; mature in two growing seasons.
Seeds: 3 to 5 seeds per cone.
Leaves: Evergreen, scale-like, sharp and long pointed, tight to the twig in opposite pairs resulting in a slightly square twig, a few are awl-like pointing away from the twig; bluish green, sometimes with a white resin dot on backside.
Bark: Develops square blocking plates, giving it a checkered pattern. Square patches are dark gray with nearly black fissures; younger branches have scaly bark. Looks like alligator skin.
Found: Native to the USA (AZ, NM, TX). Also found south into Mexico in Aguascalientes, Chiapas, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Hidalgo, Jalisco, México, Michoacán, Nuevo León, Puebla, San Luis Potosí, Sonora, Tamaulipas, Tlaxcala, Veracruz, & Zacatecas. Also in Guatemala; at 1,500 - 2,900 m.
Soil pH requirements:
Elevation: 4,500 - 9,000 Feet.
Habitat: Woodland and lower elevation pine forests. Intermountain region of western North America.
Miscellaneous: Flowering Photos Taken at Payson, Arizona.
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