Juniperus squamata 'Meyeri'
Common Name: singleseed juniper 
Type: Needled evergreen
Family: Cupressaceae
Zone: 4 to 7
Height: 5.00 to 8.00 feet
Spread: 4.00 to 7.00 feet
Bloom Time: Flowers not showy
Bloom Description: Non-flowering
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Leaf: Evergreen
Attracts: Birds
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.

'Meyeri’ is an upright, bushy, female cultivar that is often commonly called Meyer, fishback or fishtail juniper. It typically grows to 5’ tall by 4’ wide, but may over time grow to 15’ tall or more. It is noted for its attractive steel-blue foliage. Unfortunately, plant foliage tends to lose some of its ornamental interest over time because dead needles turn brown but remain on the plant. Cultivar name honors Frank Nicholas Meyer (1875-1918) who collected plants in Eastern Asia for the USDA during the early part of the 20th century.


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.


Ground hugging shrub that forms an excellent ground cover. Also effective in foundations, borders, banks and slopes.