Juniperus virginiana var. silicicola / southern red-cedar

Juniperus virginiana var. siliciola, as described in 1983 by (Small) Edward Albert Murray, in Kalmia, vol.13 no.8, is commonly known as southern red-cedar, as well as southern or sand juniper. The variety name means "flint-dweller", from Latin silex and -cola. Many authors have split this variety into species status, namely Junperus silicicola.

Description. Southern red-cedar differs from the typical variety in the following ways.

  • foliage is shorter and thicker with blunt apices.
  • seed cones are smaller, at 0.12 to 0.16 inch (3 - 4 mm) versus the typical 0.16 to 0.28 inch (4 - 7 mm)
  • less cold-hardy than J. virginiana var. virginiana.
  • favors swampy and damp conditions.

Distribution. This specific variety is native to USA — the Atlantic and Gulf coasts from the extreme southeastern corner of Virginia, south to central Florida and west to southeast Texas.

Juniperus virginiana var. silicicola — in Mounts Botanical Garden, West Palm Beach, Florida (USDA Zone 10b); photo from 2020.
Photo by Katherine Wagner-Reiss
Juniperus virginiana var. silicicola — bark detail.
Photo by Katherine Wagner-Reiss
Juniperus virginiana var. silicicola — foliage detail.
Photo by Katherine Wagner-Reiss

Comments