Pinchot's Juniper (Pinchotii)

The Pinchot's Juniper (Pinchotii) is generally described as a perennial tree or shrub. This is native to the U.S. (United States) .

Uses of : Landscaping, Medicinal, Culinary, etc.

Ethnobotanic: The Comanche used Pinchot’s juniper as a treatment for headaches, vertigo, and ghost sickness. For these ailments the Comanche would sprinkle dried leaves over hot coals and inhale the smoke. The Comanche also used an extract of the dried and pulverized roots of Pinchot’s juniper for menstrual problems.

General Characteristics

General: Cypress Family (Cupressaceae). Pinchot’s juniper grows to be a shrub or small tree, reaching a maximum height of 6 meters. Multiple stems coming from the base of the tree form a dense clump. The bark is thin and ashy-gray colored with longitudinal fissures. The branches are rigid, with slender ascending tips. Pinchot’s juniper has white sapwood and reddish-brown heartwood. The leaves on mature fruiting branches are triangular-ovate and pressed together in groups of two or three (1.5-2.5 mm long). The leaf margins are serrated with teeth that point forward. The fruits are variable in size, ranging in color from reddish to copper-brown. Each fruit has either one or two seeds. The seeds are 5 mm long, have a broad oval shape, and are chestnut brown in color.

Required Growing Conditions

For current distribution, please consult the Plant Profile page for this species on the PLANTS Web site.

Habitat: Found on open flats, dry hills, in arroyos, and in canyons.

Adaptation Low to moderate intensity fires will kill seedlings and saplings. Mature trees, will resprout after top-kill by fire if soil is protecting the basal bud zone. Once top-killed, mature trees require 3-50 years to attain pre-fire height.

Cultivation and Care

Pinchot’s juniper requires two years of above average precipitation for seedling establishment. The optimal soil temperature for germination is 64 degrees Fahrenheit. Reproduction also occurs from resprouting of already established plants. Following injury or top removal, Pinchot’s juniper will resprout from the base of the stem.

General Upkeep and Control

Fire has been successfully used to prevent the encroachment of Pinchot’s juniper on rangeland. For further information regarding the use of fire to manage the tree consult your local land management agency.

Pests and Potential Problems Grown in its native habitat and using local seed stock Pinchot’s juniper should not be prone to debilitating pests.

Plant Basics
General Type Tree, Shrub
Growth Duration Perennial
Plant Nativity Native to U.S.

Source: USDA, NRCS, PLANTS Database,
National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA