The Juniperus Californica
is commonly known as California Juniper
, as well as Desert White Cedar< Go Back
California juniper is distributed from Shasta County, California, south
as far as Baja California Norte [6
]. California juniper occurs
through the inner Coast Ranges and in interior cismontane southern
California to the western slope of the southern Sierra Nevada. It
occurs on desert slopes from the western edge of the Colorado Desert and
Joshua Tree National Monument to Kern County, California [25
California juniper also occurs in isolated parts of Nevada and Arizona,
near their border with California [7
]. It is cultivated in Hawaii [41
The currently accepted scientific name of California juniper is
Juniperus californica Carr. [25
]. There are no recognized
varieties or subspecies.
California juniper is codominant primarily with singleleaf pinyon (Pinus
monophylla) in the pinyon-juniper type. This type occupies lower
elevations than the Utah juniper (Juniperus osteosperma) type [15,38].
California juniper is an understory associate in the blue oak (Quercus
douglasii)-narrowleaf goldenweed (Haplopappus linearfolius) community
found in the central and southern coastal foothills [1,13]. It also
occurs frequently as a scattered tree in grasslands, in interior live
oak woodlands (Quercus wislizenii), and microsites in chaparral . On
the desert side of mountain ranges, it is associated with desert
chaparral . California juniper is an indicator of Joshua tree
(Yucca brevifolia) woodland  and occurs in widely dispersed small
groves in southern California .
California juniper is listed as a codominant or dominant species in the
Desert scrub communities in the Sonoran Desert of California and Arizona
General vegetation communities of southern California .
General vegetation plant associations of southern California .
Desert vegetation community types of the Mojave Desert of southern California
Pinyon-juniper community types of San Bernadino Mountains of California
< Go Back
Much of the information presented here is attributed to:
Cope, Amy B. 1992. Juniperus californica. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online].
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service,
Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available at USDA Forest Service.