Juniperus rigida

Common Name: needle juniper 
Type: Needled evergreen
Family: Cupressaceae
Native Range: China, Japan, Korea, Russian Far East
Zone: 6 to 7
Height: 15.00 to 25.00 feet
Spread: 10.00 to 20.00 feet
Bloom Time: Non-flowering
Bloom Description: Non-flowering
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Leaf: Evergreen
Attracts: Birds
Fruit: Showy
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Deer, Drought, Erosion, Clay Soil, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil, Air Pollution


Easily grown in average, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerant of a wide variety of soils including clay. Intolerant of wet soils. Established plants are generally tolerant of hot and dry conditions. Also tolerant of many city air pollutants.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Juniperus rigida, commonly called needle juniper, is an evergreen large shrub or small tree that is native to dry mountain areas in northern China, Korea and Japan. It typically matures to 20' tall with a loose, open and irregular habit. It features ascending branches and pendulous branchlets, with foliage consisting of sharply-pointed bright green needles (to 1" long) in whorls of three. Each needle has a single white stomatal band on the upper surface. Junipers are dioecious (separate male and female plants). The berry-like fruiting cones on female plants of this species emerge green but ripen in the second year to bluish-black. Fruit is eaten by some birds and mammals. Needle juniper is often planted on temple grounds in Japan, hence the sometimes used additional common name of temple juniper.

Genus name comes from the Latin name for the juniper.

Specific epithet means rigid or stiff.


No serious insect or disease problems. 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 and scale. Some people are allergic to pollen produced by male trees.


Evergreen juniper with drooping habit. Specimen or accent.