Juniperus deppeana
Common name: 
Alligator Juniper
Checkered-bark Juniper
Pronunciation: 
ju-NIP-er-us dep-e-A-na
Family: 
Cupressaceae
Genus: 
Type: 
Conifer
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
No
  • Conifer, evergreen tree, slowly grows to 20-40(65) ft [6-12(20) m] tall, dense, spreading canopy, becoming irregular with dead branches, some die only in a vertical strip and continue to grow on the other side; largest juniper in the US southwest.  Trunk short, stout; bark on mature trees is blackish or gray, thick, checkered, furrowed and divided into scales resembling the back of an alligator.  Leaves opposite, 1.5-3 mm long, scalelike, sharp pointed, appressed, bluish-green, obscurely keeled and glandular (white dot) on the back, in 4 rows, forming slender, 4-sided twigs.  Fruit more or less spherical, about 12 mm wide, brownish with a whitish bloom, 3-5 seed, maturing in the second year.
  • Sun.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 7.   Native range from western Texas to northwestern New Mexico and reaches its northern limit in north-central Arizona near Flagstaff, it extends southward into northern and central Mexico.
Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit, in habitat

    plant habit, in habitat

  • plant habit, in a landscape

    plant habit, in a landscape

  • branchlets and leaves

    branchlets and leaves

  • fruit "cones" and branchlets

    fruit "cones" and branchlets

  • fruit "cones"

    fruit "cones"

  • trunk, bark

    trunk, bark