Juniperus sabina 'Skandia'

Common Name: savin juniper 
Type: Needled evergreen
Family: Cupressaceae
Zone: 3 to 7
Height: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 8.00 to 10.00 feet
Bloom Time: Non-flowering
Bloom Description: Non-flowering
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Ground Cover
Leaf: Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Deer, Drought, Erosion, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil, Air Pollution


Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerant of a wide variety of soils including clay. Also grows well on limestone soils. Intolerant of wet soils. Tolerant of some drought once established. Also tolerant of many city air pollutants.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Juniperus sabina, commonly known as savin juniper, is a shrubby evergreen conifer that is native to mountain areas of central and southern Europe to the Caucusus. It is usually seen in the wild as a spreading shrub to 4-6' tall and to 5-10' wide. Foliage is dark green with no purplish color in winter. Crushed foliage releases an unpleasant aroma. Brown bark on mature stems peels in strips. Although species plants are rarely sold in commerce (not particularly ornamental), a number of cultivated varieties have become popular ornamental landscape plants. Sabin juniper leaves come in two types: scale-like (adult) and awl/needle-like (juvenile). Cones (pollen and seed-bearing) usually appear on different plants. Male plants produce catkin-like pollen cones. Female plants produce fleshy, berry-like, bluish-black seed cones.

Genus name comes from the Latin name for the juniper.

Specific epithet comes from the name of an ancient people who lived in central Italy, the Sabines.

‘Skandia' is a dwarf, prostrate, low-spreading, evergreen conifer that typically grows to 12-18" tall but spreads to 8-10' wide. Soft, pale gray-green foliage is mostly needle-like. Foliage retains good color in winter. Female cultivar.


Savin junipers are generally susceptible to tip and needle blights. Cedar-apple rust and related rust diseases spend part of their life cycle on junipers. Root rot may occur, particularly in wet, poorly drained soils. Canker may attack bark or main stems. Occasional insect pests include aphids, bagworms, webworms, borers and scale. Watch for spider mites.

'Skandia' is noted for having good resistance to juniper blight.


Group or mass in sunny landscape areas. Foundations. Small garden areas or rock gardens. Hedge. Slopes for erosion control. Japanese gardens.