Juniperus rigida subsp. conferta / Shore Juniper

Juniperus rigida subsp. conferta, first described in 1974 by (Parlatore) Siro Kitamura (1906 - 2002) is commonly known as Shore juniper and is most commonly seen listed as Juniperus conferta Parlatore.

Description. Shore juniper is an evergreen coniferous groundcover with densely branched, creeping stems, forming mats. Branchlets are reddish brown in color, densely clothed with more or less appressed leaves. Leaves 3-verticillate, stiff, pointed, needle-like, more or less curved, base jointed, 0.4 to 0.65 inch (10 - 17 mm) long, 0.04 to 0.08 inch (1 - 2 mm) wide, conspicuously concave on margin, nearly triangular in cross section, upper surface with one deep groove and one narrow white stomatal band along middle, dull green and ridged on lower surface. Flowers appear solitary in the axils of the previous year's shoots. Pollen cones globose-ovoid, yellow-green, ca. 0.12 inch (3 mm) long and 0.1 inch (2.5) mm across, consisting of ca. 3-tiered verticillate scales, scales ovate, acute, green. Seed cones on short stalks densely clothed with small scale leaves, globose, green ripening to purple-black, 0.4 to 0.48 inch (10 - 12 mm) in diameter and 3-seeded. Seeds ellipsoid, subacute at one end, 3-ridged, 0.2 to 0.28 inch (5 - 7 mm) long. Pollination takes place in July, seeds mature between October and December of the next year.

Distribution. This subspecies is native to Japan and Russia. In Japan it is found in western Hokkaido and Honshu (Pacific Ocean side from Iwate Prefecture to Wakayama Prefecture, excluding the Izu Peninsula and Izu Islands; Japan Sea side from Aomori Prefecture to Shimane Prefecture); on sandy soils near the sea. It is rare in Russia, where found on sandy seashores of southern Sakhalin Island and perhaps in the Kuril Islands.

Descriptions of the cultivars of Shore Juniper can be found on this page:

Juniperus rigida subsp. conferta

Juniperus rigida subsp. conferta — at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Scotland.
Photo by Xemenendura, via Wikipedia