Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon:
- Conifer, evergreen, tree or wide spreading shrub, to 70 ft (20 m) tall and 20 ft (6 m) wide, brown bark. Foliage is pungent. Juvenile needles are narrow, awl-shaped, sharp pointed, 8 mm long, borne in pairs or in 3s; adult leaves are scale-like, in 4 ranks (2 opposite pairs), lying flat along the stem. Fruit is white-blue then violet or brown, more or less globose, to 12 mm wide, ripen the second year.
- Sun and partial shade. Best on moist, well-drained, but tolerates dry soils once established.
- Hardy to USDA Zone 3-9, depending upon cultivar. Used in bonsai. Native to China, Mongolia, and Japan.
The species type is not often used in landscaping since there are many fine selections commercially available, Dirr (1998) lists over 80, they include:
- ‘Armstrong’ (syn. J × media ‘Armstrongii’) - about 4 ft (1.2 m) high, similar spread, leaves mostly scale-like, except at base of branches, bright green, maintains color in cold weather.
- ‘Blue Alps’ - vigorous shrub, upright branches, arching, open, sharp needles, blue-green color.
- ‘Blue Point’ - upright, broad, conical form, may reach 12 ft (3.6 m) high and 8 ft (2.4 m) wide, very densely branched, blue-green foliage.
- ‘Daniel's Dwarf’ - dwarf, low growing, wide spreading shrub, to 1-2 ft high and a spread of 2-3 ft tall (0.3-0.6 × 0.6 -0.9 m) at maturity .
- Gold Coast™ - spreading shrub, 3 ft tall by 5 ft wide (0.9 × 1.5 m); foliage is yellow-gold, which deepens in winter.
- ‘Gold Lace’ - yellow foliage ["most golden of all junipers", Dirr, (1998)], compact habit, 4 ft (1.2 m) tall and 6 ft (1.8 m)wide.
- ‘Hetzii’ (syn. J × media ‘Hetzii’) - fast-growing, upright-spreading, may reach 10 × 10 ft (3 × 3 m) or more, bluish-green foliage.
- ‘Keteleeri’ - evergreen, pyramidal tree, 15-20 ft (4.5-6m) tall or taller, branches ascending Leaves scale-like, very pointed, green, female clone with spherical cones having a recurved stalk, abundant fruit.
- ‘Maney’ - large, multi-stemmed, spreading shrub with a distinctive upright arching habit of growth, slow growing but may reach 6 ft tall with a spread of 5 ft (1.8 × 1.5 m), branches are covered in foliage all the way to the ground.
- ‘Pfitzeriana’ (syn. J × media ‘Pfitzeriana’; J. × pfitzeriana [Pfitzer Group]) - wide spreading shrub, stout, ascending, thick branches with drooping tips, 6 ft (1.8 m) tall, spread may be double that, both scale-like and needle leaves, bright green; very common.
- ‘Robusta Green’ - upright form, can reach 15 ft ( 4.5 m) tall and 7 ft (2.1 m) wide, bright green foliage, female, produces abundant cones.
- ‘San Jose’ - low growing creeping form, to 2 ft (0.3 m) tall, spread of 6 ft (1.8 m) or more, foliage sage green
- ‘Saybrook Gold’ (PP5014) - spreading arching shrub, stiff branches with drooping tips, to 3 ft (0.9 m) tall by 6 ft (1.8 m) wide, needle-like foliage is bright yellow in summer and bronze-yellow in winter.
- ‘Shimpaku’ - low, irregular vase shape, 1-3 ft tall to 5 ft wide, finely textured foliage (needle-like), green color; popular for bonsai use.
- ‘Spearmint’ - narrow, pyramid habit, dense, to 15 ft (4.5 m) tall and spread 4 ft (1.2 m), leaves mostly scale-like, bright green.
- ‘Stricta’ - narrowly conical, densely branched, leaves needle-like, prickly, blue-gray.
- ‘Torulosa’ (‘Kaizuka’; Hollywood Juniper) - large shrub/tree, 20-30 ft (6-9 m) high, female, branches slightly twisted, leaves scale-like, vivid green.
- ‘Variegata’ - conical habit, densely branched, leaves mostly awl-shaped, splashed with creamy white.
- Some selections previously listed as J. chinensis are considered hybrids of J. chinensis and J. sabina and to indicate this were placed under the designation J. × media. Later the specific epithet, media, was found to have already been in use for a different Juniper hybrid, so its use to signify a J. chinensis - J. sabina hybrid is illegitimate. See The Pfitzer Story in the info section of ‘Pfitzeriana’ for more detailed information on this taxonomic problem.