Juniperus pingii / Ping's juniper

Juniperus pingii (Ping's juniper) was first described by W.C. Cheng, ex Ferre in 1944.

According to Farjon (2005), three varieties of this species are known to exist:

  • Juniperus pingii var. chengii (L.K. Fu et Y.F. Fu) Farjon 2005
  • Juniperus pingii var. pingii
  • Juniperus pingii var. wilsonii (Rehder) Silba 1984
A monoecious procumbent to erect shrub growing at an elevation of 7800 to 14,000 feet in the mountains of Central and southwest China. Ping's juniper is typically found in subalpine forests and in scrubby alpine areas. Branching is spreading or angled upward and often seen with drooping tips. The waxy and glaucous-green adult leaves tiny, lanceolate or scale-like, densely packed and facing forward. Seed cones are single-seeded, globose, ~1/2 wide, ripening to black or bluish-black after two years. [RHS Encylcopedia of Conifers, Auders & Spicer] It should be noted that Juniperus pingii has been subject to much discussion regarding name changes and its relationship with its close relatives, Juniperus recurva and Juniperus squamata. Many cultivars long associated with Juniperus squamata are now assigned to pingii.
A mature specimen of Juniperus pingii at the ACS Reference Garden at Oregon Garden, Silverton, OR.
Photo by David Olszyk
A close up of the same tree at Oregon Garden showing needle and branch detail.
Photo by David Olszyk