Visual guide all the different types of juniper foliage? Seeking links.

Rivka

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Can anyone point me to a good place, with pictures, to get a broader understanding and education on the wide variety of juniper foliage types?
Most things I find only are comparing 2 or 3 types in some particular context. Or refer to many of them, but without any pictures or diagrams showing the difference.
So I have been cross-referencing all the names, and then still find conflicting search results so that often I don't trust if I'm looking at the right thing!

Bonus points if it includes bark information! So yeah, links to sites, books, whatever would be most appreciated. I would love to study more of the whole subject.
 

Wires_Guy_wires

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As far as I know, there is no collection that maps all of them and their traits. This is mainly because they seem to have many overlapping traits that are hard to distinguish.
I can tell phoenicea var turbinata from phoenicea var phoenicea from their foliar habits because I studied them in the wild, but the literature does it by watching the ripeness of the berries. One of the two has ripe berries in summer, the other one in fall. The rest of the descriptions overlap so much, that you can't tell a difference if you'd read that list.
Google scholar can provide you with phenotypical data on most populations, if you're up for digging through research papers and making your own document based on black and white pictures.

The american conifer society has a lot of data, but that's limited to broad descriptions about growth habits, not particularly foliage types.

I think that it might be easier to grasp the concepts in a broader sense. There are roughly a couple of baselines:
1a. Needle type junipers with large needles and coarse growth (Communis, Tosho?)
1b. Needle type junipers with small needles and compact growth (Procumbens nana, squamata, forever-juvenile cultivars like chinensis stricta)
2a. Scale junipers with compact tufts of foliage (chinensis varieties like shimpaku; itoigawa, kishu, blaauw, some types of sabina, some types of phoenicea, some types of RMJ)
2b. Scale junipers with coarse tufts of foliage (chinensis varieties, sabina varieties, media/pfizer, RMJ, pingii, phoenicean, procumbens, and a tonne more)

As you can see from this list already, procumbens has both needled cultivars as well as scale foliage phenotypes. Sabina can be very coarse but also pretty compact, this depends on the original location.
We have natural stands of communis around here, some turn purple in the winter, others stay crispy green. Those are different phenotypes of the same origin. Sabina var. 'no tam blight' looks way different than sabina var. sabina or sabina x chinensis, or sabina x chinensis var Old Gold. The RMJ skyrocket grows different than regular RMJ. Even within cultivars, there are differences; the procumbens nana in the US do produce scale foliage, the ones in Europe rarely do. They might originate from different areas of Japan, or they might actually come from the same stock originally. One could be a hybrid, or a natural variation. There's no telling without genetic data, since historical records are limited to breeders, and breeders usually weren't that good at keeping track of what they did. Especially with junipers that can take a looooong time to successfully hybridize and stabilize.

In summary, if you want to map all phenotypes of all families of the juniper species, you'll be busy for a lifetime. It's more realistic to stick with the four main types there are, and make a mental note that these can both overlap and be very different based on all sorts of conditions. A chinensis in the shade will produce coarser foliage, open tufts and will overall look different (less compact) than one grown in full sun.
I'm sure that answer doesn't please you. I ran into the same wall a couple years ago. I made peace with the fact that I can only really see the difference in types when I grow them myself. So I started buying seeds and plants.
 

Rivka

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In summary, if you want to map all phenotypes of all families of the juniper species, you'll be busy for a lifetime. It's more realistic to stick with the four main types there are, and make a mental note that these can both overlap and be very different based on all sorts of conditions. A chinensis in the shade will produce coarser foliage, open tufts and will overall look different (less compact) than one grown in full sun.
I'm sure that answer doesn't please you. I ran into the same wall a couple years ago. I made peace with the fact that I can only really see the difference in types when I grow them myself. So I started buying seeds and plants.

while im bummed that there is not more geeky grids of data, your answer pleases me greatly because it includes a lot of data to go off of and poke into the rest when i can.
the stuff i was hoping to find was things like:
"what is the bluest scale type that has red enough bark to match my Squamata that needs approach grafting"
and "what is the least deadly pokey piece of 💩 needle type?"
and it would just be so darn nice to have a grid to look those up.

but you are right of course, if junipers have wide phenotype variations, the whole issue just got infuriating.

btw, how is your Zombie doing? eat your brains yet?
 

Wires_Guy_wires

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Then why didn't you ask?
Bluest needle type foliage with reddish bark is squamata. You can graft squamata on squamata. Any other types that come close, are probably hard to get. Boskoops in the Netherlands offers a wide variety of junipers from all over the world, but you can't import those without them dying. I'm not aware of any nursery in the US offering something close.
What the least deadly pokey needle type is, is tosho or wildtype communis. These don't produce sabinol (found in sabina types and hybrids) so they are less likely to induce a allergic response, but in general most junipers do induce it if the needles puncture the skin. It's what those needle shapes are for. Sabina hybrids are known to induce stronger immunological responses due to that sabinol. This also makes them one of the few actually poisonous junipers (or venomous in the sense that the needles do need to puncture the skin to have an effect?). Communis has long been used in cooking in Europe, the berries help produce jenever (from the French genevrier, meaning juniper) which is a pretty strong drink. Mix that stuff with some lemon soft drink and you can get hammered in less than an hour. I know nothing about tosho though.

I think it's better to check what's locally available and just try to figure those out. That alone will be a nice quest to keep you busy for five or six years.

The zombie juniper is in purgatory. It's both alive and thriving, and dying. A great look into compartmentalisation of junipers for me. And a good way to study the effects of my secret treatment.
 

Lazylightningny

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I don't know how much you know about junipers in general; I don't want to insult your intelligence, but you can start here as a basic reference point.


This book also has some info 20200502_083109.jpg

Perhaps members can chime in with close up photos of various types of foliage on their junipers. As said above however, even among like species, foliage varies greatly among regional varieties.

Currently on my shelves I have kishu, shimpaku, procumbens, holger, sea green, san jose, virginia/ERC, and parson's junipers, most of the latter in juvenile foliage with some adult foliage. I could take some photos of the foliage if you like.
 

Wires_Guy_wires

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I have osteosperma, media, pfizer mint julep, blaauw, chinensis, itoigawa, ERC, RMJ, phoenicea, stricta, old gold, sabina, chinensis plumosa aurea (but I don't remember where I left it), communis and probably some others.

@Rivka I'm thinking out loud here, but what if you'd be so kind to build a resource document for the forum? We can send in information and pictures, you can process them and put them in a nice overview.
That way everyone benefits, and you do most of the work and get the credits ;)
 

Rivka

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Then why didn't you ask?​

i didnt ask for the specific info because i would rather ask for source material research and learn and end up knowing way more than the quesrion i started with, thats who i am.
Why let someone give you a fish when you could
learn how to grow a tree, turn it into a pole, build a pond, learn how to raise stock and someday sit appreciating your accomplishment while you catch a fish for lunch?
 

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