Juniperus squamata 'Blue Star'

Tried and Trouble-free Recommended by 6 Professionals
Common Name: singleseed juniper
Type: Needled evergreen
Family: Cupressaceae
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 1.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 4.00 feet
Bloom Time: Non-flowering
Bloom Description: Non-flowering
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Leaf: Evergreen
Fruit: Showy
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Deer, Drought, Erosion, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil, Air Pollution


Grow in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Adapts to a wide range of soils. Performs well in dryish, sandy soils with good drainage. Somewhat intolerant of the hot and humid growing conditions of the deep South. Intolerant of wet soils. Generally needs no pruning, but plant height can be controlled over time if desired by pruning.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Juniperus squamata is commonly called singleseed juniper because each fleshy, elliptic, blackish, berry-like seed cone it produces contains only one seed. It is native to mountainous areas from Afghanistan to China and Taiwan. It grows somewhat variably in the wild, from prostrate ground cover to spreading shrub to upright shrub/small tree. Awl-shaped, sharply-pointed, gray-green to blue-green needles (to 5/16” long) appear in whorls of three. Each needle has a gray-white band.

Genus name comes from the Latin name for the juniper.

Specific epithet is in reference to the scaly brown bark.

'Blue Star' is a slow-growing cultivar with a low-mounded, hemispherical habit. Typically grows to only 1 foot tall after 5 years, but eventually matures over time to 2-3' high. Features awl-shaped, silver blue foliage which is attractive year-round. Sometimes commonly called singleseed juniper because each bluish, berry-like, female cone contains but a single seed. This cultivar is a sport of Juniperus squamata 'Meyeri.'


No serious insect or disease problems. Junipers are generally susceptible to blights (dieback of stem tips), particularly in unusually rainy/wet springs. Phomopsis twig blight is of particular concern. Cedar-apple and related rust diseases spend part of their life cycle on junipers. Root rot may occur, particularly in wet, poorly drained soils. Occasional insect pests include aphids, bagworms, twig borers, webworms and scale. Watch for spider mites. Foliage may discolor in winter.

Garden Uses

Specimen shrub or foundation plant. Younger plants are good for the rock garden or may be massed to form a bushy ground cover.