Juniperus indica (Black Juniper) is a juniper native to high altitudes in the Himalaya, occurring from the northern Indus Valley in Kashmir east to western Yunnan in China.

It is of interest as the highest altitude woody plant known, reported growing as high as 5200 m in southern Tibet; the lowest limit being 2600 m.
It is a shrub growing to 50-200 cm tall, with largely horizontal branching. The leaves are dark grey-green, dimorphic, with adult plants having mostly scale-like leaves 1-3 mm long, while young plants have mostly needle-like leaves 5-8 mm long, but needle-like leaves can also be found on shaded shoots of adult plants. The leaves are borne in whorls of three on strong stout main stem shoots, and opposite pairs on thinner, slower-growing shoots. It is dioecious, with male (pollen) and female (seed) cones on separate plants. The mature seed cones are ovoid, berry-like, 6-10 mm long, glossy black, and contain a single seed; the seeds are dispersed by birds which eat the cones, digest the fleshy cone pulp, and excrete the seeds in their droppings.
(From  Wikipedia on 26.12.13)


This Juniper is a dwarf shrub in alpine zone at about 3800m altitude in Alaknanda valley. It seems Juniperus pseudosabina Fisch. et C.A.Mey. (?????) vide Osmaston (1927) but I am not sure and expert determination is requested.

Beautiful seeds covered with flesh..

Must be Juniperus indica (=J. pseudosabina) as per this posting of …

Yes it is. The source I mentioned (Osmaston,1927) is old and the correct name should be J.indica now as learnt in this episode.


Juniperus squamata, 


Juniperus communis


Juniperus indica (=J. pseudosabina)


Juniperus macropoda (=J. polycarpos)

I am posting 4 images of Juniperus species from Himachal Pradesh together for the sake of easy comparison.
These are, as I have identified;
1. Juniperus squamata, a spreading shrub
from Kinnaur
2. Juniperus communis, a spreading shrub from Kinnaur, Berries (hauber) collected for trade.
3. Juniperus indica (=J. pseudosabina), a spreading shrub from Kinnaur. Leaves used as ‘Dhoop’
4. Juniperus macropoda (=J. polycarpos) , a tree from Lahaul valley

I request for critical identification of the above species. And is there any good key based on field characters?

Wonderful & unique posting again.

Thanks, … You made my day.

I think keys in Flora of Pakistan may be of some help.

Thanks … I’ll recheck the identity & nomenclature again.

The following link may be of use in this regard:

Juniperus polycarpos C. Koch,

J. indica Bertol. and J. communis L. var. saxatilis)


Juniperus recurva from Paddar valley J&K

Is it cultivated as its range is not shown in Kashmir by the following ?:

Flora of China

This is not a cultivated species but found wild at 2800-4500m in our area. Although not good quality I am attaching some more pics. In any case can these pics help in correction of ID.   

Some Juniperus species in efi & India

Sorry, while GRIN & IUCNRed List (LC) (2013) do not show it’s range in Kashmir, Flora of China shows it in Kashmir.

It is not J. recurva. Better closeup photo o berries is required for correct identification

Juniperus indica Bertol. ??   Arboretum du Vllardebelle

Yes, … May be as per images at Juniperus indica

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