Juniperus squamata - blue star or flaky juniper

Blue star juniper is native to the Himalayas and north-west China’s mountains at elevations between 1600-4800m. Its habit is variable, like most other junipers: it can grow as a small tree or as a prostrate creeper, but most commonly is an erect shrub.

The blue star’s branch tips droop attractively. The bluish needle leaves – varying in shade from blue-green to strongly bluish - are in groups of three, broad and curved, with sharp tips. In colder months they take on shades of brown and bronze.

The berry-like cone is oval, black when ripe, and contains a single seed; most others juniper cones usually contain more than one.

Not many wild forms of blue star juniper are in production but there are numerous cultivated varieties available, which vary in size and habit. The first plant to be taken into cultivation was a beautiful steel blue, found in the early 1900s by Frank Meyer and know by the varietal name ‘Meyeri’.