Chinese Juniper (Juniperus chinensis)

J. sheppardii. J. sphaerica.
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Chinese Juniper
Juniperus chinensis

A number of cultivars are suitable for use as a ground cover, though they are rather slow-growing[208]. They should be spaced about 90cm apart each way[208]. ‘Parsonsii’ can grow up to 2 metres across, with its branches horizontal to and about 5cm above the ground but never touching the ground[208].

  • Medicinal Use

    The stems are used in the treatment of parasitic skin problems and rheumatism[218].

    The fruit is used in the treatment of convulsions, excessive sweating and hepatitis[218].

    The root is used in the treatment of burns and scalds[218].

    The resin, mixed with the resin of Pinus species, is used as a resolvent on tumours[218].

  • Edible Use

    None known

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

The seed requires a period of cold stratification. The seed has a hard seedcoat and can be very slow to germinate, requiring a cold period followed by a warm period and then another cold spell, each of 2 – 3 months duration[78, 81]. Soaking the seed for 3 – 6 seconds in boiling water may speed up the germination process[11]. The seed is best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Some might germinate in the following spring, though most will take another year. Another possibility is to harvest the seed ‘green’ (when the embryo has fully formed but before the seedcoat has hardened). The seedlings can be potted up into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. Grow on in pots until large enough, then plant out in early summer. When stored dry, the seed can remain viable for several years[1]. Cuttings of mature wood, 5 – 10cm with a heel, September/October in a cold frame. Plant out in the following autumn[1, 78]. Layering in September/October. Takes 12 months[78].
Succeeds in most soils if they are well drained, preferring a neutral or slightly alkaline soil[1, 11, 200]. Succeeds in chalky soils[200]. Established plants are drought tolerant, succeeding in hot dry positions[200]. A slow growing and rather short-lived tree[185]. The plants produce new growth from early May to the end of August and can make 50cm a year increases in height when young[185]. A very ornamental plant[1], there are many named varieties[200]. The crushed foliage has a rather sour resinous scent[185]. Trees are usually dioecious but occasional monoecious trees occur[11]. Male and female flowers are required if fruit and seed is to be produced.
E. Asia – N.E. China, Japan, Mongolia.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.