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Juniperus scopulorum

Juniperus scopulorum

The epithet scopulorum translates to “growing on cliffs”, and that is indeed where my friend Chris found this craggy tree. I was around 25m higher up the cliff, taking a photograph of a different Rocky Mountain juniper, when Chris shouted up to me that I should come down the starting-to-get-slick-from-a-light-rain lakeside cliff to get a photograph of this tree. I declined at first, but he insisted, so I very gingerly made my way down. It was well worth it, so Chris gets much credit for this photo.

Rocky Mountain juniper is, as its common name implies, native to the Rocky Mountains and vicinity from Canada south to Mexico. The US Forest Service has an excellent account of Juniperus scopulorum, including a refined distribution map. For more photographs of the plant, I'll again refer you to the Burke Museum of Natural History and its entry on Junipuer scopulorum.

A note to BPotD readers from Manitoba: I'll be giving a presentation on the “Plants of UBC Botanical Garden” to the Beausejour Daylily Garden Society on Sunday night. Send me an email if you'd like more details on when and where, if you are interested in attending.

Photography resource link: For inspiration, Tasmanian photographer Geoff Murray. Many thanks to Ken B for suggesting this one!

13 Comments

Looks like a life size Bonsai

I'm curious- where was this photo taken?

Ooops- didn't see the part about Nicola Lake!

I would also like to add that it is found quite commonly in the San Juan Islands and the northeastern edge of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. Also-and Daniel please correct me if I'm wrong-it grows in a few areas on Vancouver Island, I think.

Gorgeous.

And on a bright day, it wouldn't have been such a great picture. The taupe of the water is perfect behind the profile of the tree...

All that lichen/moss living with the tree is fantastic.

I just visited Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburg, and they have a charming little Japanese garden with bonsai displays. The contrast between the artifice and the real thing!

Nature is just amazing.

stunning photograph! Thank you so much.

beautiful photo, Daniel -- I'm glad your friend, Chris insisted on you taking this one. It almost looks like a bonsai juniper. Perfect lighting and exposure - you were lucky to have a cloudy day.

An excellent photograph depicting the ruggedness of the plant and its ability to withstand the hashness of that micro-climate. Thanks Daniel for listening to Chris!

The background looks like chrome. I like the branches that have no leaves it adds a spooky effect.

As a film photographer I would be interested in the sort of camera used & the settings. R

Washington Park, Anacortes, WA is a scenic and accessible place to see this species. Lots of spring wildflowers, too.

The tree is good but this is an extraordinary excellent picture of water.

Daniel - this is a gorgeous picture, perfectly capturing the unique quality of the J. scopulorum - and I agree with the above as to the contrast of the water.
We have this variety in Texas - in fact, there is one that has this exact character at the front gate to our property ( along with several other J. virginiana's on our half acre) and it is always loaded with berries - if only I liked gin!
They are also all over the Big Bend area of SW Texas - I've captured a few on my travels there.
Good job!

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