NC Native Plant Society:
Plant Details

Juniperus virginiana

Eastern Red Cedar

Scientific Name:

Juniperus virginiana



Species Epithet:


Common Name:

Eastern Red Cedar

Plant Type


Life Cycle


Plant Family

Cupressaceae (Cypress Family)


NC Native

Invasive Status:



36-72 ft.


Sun - 6 or more hours of sun per day, Part Shade - 2 to 6 hours of sun per day

Soil Moisture:

Dry, Moist, Wet

Bloom Time:

Jan, Feb, March

Growing Area:

Mountains, Piedmont, Sandhills, Coastal Plain

Habitat Description:

In a wide variety of forests, pastures, old fields, roadsides, and fencerows, primarily upland, occurring most abundantly on circumneutral soils (including shrink-swell clays), derived from mafic or calcareous rocks. Common to very common in the NC Piedmont, and easily found there. It is generally common in the central and southern mountains, and in the extreme western Coastal Plain; scarce in the northern mountains. In most of the Coastal Plain and Sandhills it is rare or uncommon and of uncertain provenance.

Leaf Retention:


Leaf Type:

Leaves needle-like or scale-like

Leaf Form:


Life Cycle:


Wildlife Value:

Highest Wildlife Value

Landscape Value:

Highly Recommended and Available

State Rank:

S5: Secure (*Key)

Global Rank:

G5 - Secure (*Key)


Dioecious-male and female flowers on separate trees.

Young tree with blue-green color. The color varies with some specimens being more green.

Orange County, NC

Bettina Darveaux

Mature tree showing trunk with fluted base and bark that exfoliates in thin strips

Orange County, NC

Bettina Darveaux

Close-up of female tree with fruit (technically cones although they are called "berries") in late June

Orange County, NC

Bettina Darveaux

Close up of mature cones in late September with a beautiful blue color

Orange County, NC

Bettina Darveaux


USDA PLANTS Database Record

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