Eastern Red Cedar Juniperus virginiana Linnaeus var. virginiana    Synonyms: Eastern Red-cedar, Eastern Redcedar, Juniperus virginiana virginiana, Sabina virginiana, Virginia Red Cedar.
Kingdom Plantae   >   Division Coniferophyta   >   Class Pinopsida   >   Order Pinales   >   Family Cupressaceae   >   Genus Juniperus   

Status:

A pioneer tree in open areas, such as old fields and other cleared, abandoned land. Thrives in drought and cold, and grows well in rocky, sandy, or clay substrates. Can become invasive in grasslands, especially pasture lands. It can be extremely long lived. (For an overview of Eastern Red Cedar, see Johnson, 2016).

Description:

A small- to medium-sized, evergreen tree, usually with a single stem. Commonly upright and columnar, but may be rounded and bushy. Usually dioecious, but sometimes monoecious. Leaves (needles) are of two forms: On young trees and sometimes on parts of lower branches of large trees, needles are narrow, long, and sharp-pointed, whereas older trees develop needles that are small, ovate or triangular, closely appressed and overlapping (not sharp pointed). Male cones are tiny and yellowish, often numerous. Young female cones are tiny, with spreading scales, greenish or purplish, and, by fall, at maturity, they are round, bluish, glaucous, and berrylike (Sibley, 2009). Bark is thin and shreddy.

Where to find:

"On dry soils and red clays, often abundant where calcareous in the Hagerstown valley. Also common on sand dunes and sandy soils, often quite near the shore line along the ocean and around the Bay" (Brown and Brown, 1972).

Relationships:

Host to Cedar Apple Rust, Cedar Quince Rust, and the larval cases of Evergreen Bagworm Moth. Larval host of the Imperial Moth and Juniper Hairstreak butterfly.

Seed cones are an important food source for migrant and wintering birds.

There are 897 records in the project database.

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An Eastern Red Cedar in Talbot Co., Maryland (8/19/2012). Photo by Jim Brighton. (MBP list)

Eastern Red Cedar in Prince George's Co., Maryland (2/24/2017). Photo by Bill Harms. (MBP list)

Eastern Red Cedar on Assateague Island, Worcester Co., Maryland (11/14/2015). Wind and salt spray off the ocean have pruned the lower branches. Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

Eastern Red Cedar in Talbot Co., Maryland (3/26/2016). Photo by Dan Small. (MBP list)

Eastern Red Cedar showing typical bark, exfoliating in thin strips, in Wicomico Co., Maryland (12/28/2013). Photo by Jim Brighton. (MBP list)

Eastern Red Cedar showing typical bark, exfoliating in thin strips, in St. Mary's Co., Maryland (2/12/2017). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

Sharp-pointed, juvenile needles and mature scale leaves of Eastern Red Cedar in Cecil Co., Maryland (2/5/2021). Photo by Dave Webb. (MBP list)

Eastern Red Cedar bearing seed cones, in St. Mary's Co., Maryland (10/5/2013). Photo by Nancy Martin. (MBP list)

Fruiting Eastern Red Cedar bearing seed cones, in Talbot Co., Maryland (7/14/2013). Photo by Jim Brighton. (MBP list)

Fruiting Eastern Red Cedar bearing seed cones, in Montgomery Co., Maryland (11/17/2014). Photo by Fritz Flohr Reynolds. (MBP list)

Eastern Red Cedar, with mature, scale leaves, in Allegany Co., Maryland (5/27/2020). Photo by Mark Eanes. (MBP list)

Eastern Red Cedar in Worcester Co., Maryland (11/22/2020). (c) Wayne Longbottom, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by Wayne Longbottom. (MBP list)

Eastern Red Cedar, with a Cedar Apple Rust galll, in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (4/20/2021). (c) Timothy Reichard, all rights reserved. Photo by Timothy Reichard. (MBP list)

Eastern Red Cedar with mature female cones, in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (12/3/2020). (c) Matthew Beziat, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by Matthew Beziat. (MBP list)

An Eastern Red Cedar at Isle of Wight, Worcester Co., Maryland (2/20/2016). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

Eastern Red Cedar bearing male cones, in Montgomery Co., Maryland (3/16/2016). Photo by Max Wilson. (MBP list)

A young Eastern Red Cedar in Prince George's Co., Maryland (11/27/2015). Photo by Dan Small. (MBP list)

Eastern Red Cedar growing in Queen Anne's Co., Maryland (2/18/2017). Photo by Dan Small. (MBP list)

Eastern Red Cedar in Montgomery Co., Maryland (3/24/2018). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

A migrant American Robin among Eastern Red Cedar seed cones on Assateague Island, Worcester Co., Maryland (11/14/2015). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

An Eastern Red Cedar hosts a hungry Myrtle Warbler in Howard Co., Maryland (11/20/2015). Photo by Bonnie Ott. (MBP list)

An Eastern Red Cedar hosts a hungry Fish Crow in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (12/8/2010). Photo by Jim Stasz. (MBP list)

Eastern Red Cedar in Caroline Co., Maryland (10/25/2019). (c) bababebo, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by bababebo via iNaturalist. (MBP list)

Eastern Red Cedar in Queen Anne's Co., Maryland (11/22/2019). (c) cblkilchen, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by cblkilchen via iNaturalist. (MBP list)

Eastern Red Cedar with abundant male cones, in Caroline Co., Maryland (3/25/2022). (c) Wayne Longbottom, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by Wayne Longbottom. (MBP list)


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