High desert near Redmond/Bend in Central Oregon
Smelly! Walking among these trees there is a very distinct scent, not entirely unlike cat urine.
Fleshy blueish cones resemble berries. They’re coated with a white dust.
Very lovely gnarled stems, the bark seems to twist around the trunks.
They grow on dry, rocky ground, even on steep slopes.
Important for wildlife- provides food, shelter and nesting material. The leaves are very interesting- compressed scales form round little branches with glands dotting the surface (producing that nice smell.)
Mature trees can reach 20-40 feet.
Though it is a rarely used herb today, Native Americans had many medicinal uses for Western juniper, including relief from headaches, menstrual cramps, toothaches, as a remedy for burns, flu, skin and kidney problems, and as a birthing aid.