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Woody > Juniperus > Juniperus recurva > Juniperus recurva

Juniperus recurva

Himalayan Weeping Juniper, Drooping Juniper, Coffin Juniper

Origin:  Native to the North of the Himalayas and northern Pakistan east to western Yunnan in southwestern China.
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Juniperus recurva is a grand and elegant tree with weeping branches and beautiful, rusty coloured bark.

Michael Pascoe, NDP., ODH., CLT., MSc. (Plant Conservation)


Tree (evergreen), Shrub (evergreen)
USDA Hardiness Zone
7 - 9
Canadian Hardiness Zone
7a - 10a
RHS Hardiness Zone
H5 - H6
Temperature (°C)
-17.8 ºC
Temperature (°F)
0 to 10 ºF
6-10 m
4-6 m
Description and Growing Information
Flowering Period
General Description
A nice elegant form that’s asymmetrical, pointed, and makes a fair-sized tree. With attractive foliage on pendant weeping branches, blue/ green in the summer, turning a much darker green in the winter and with a rusty-brown bark.
Valued for its drooping, weeping foliage, in the Himalayas the tree is often used as windbreaks.
The Himalayan Weeping Juniper is a tender plant, but can withstand lows to about 10 °F, however it cannot handle extreme temperatures of hot or cold. Tolerant of different pH levels; acid, neutral and basic, but prefers neutral or slightly alkaline in soils that are sandy (light), loamy (medium) to clay (heavy) or chalk. Soil moisture should be well-drained, dry to moist.
A large shrub or a small tree with an uneven, cone-shaped habit.
ID Characteristic
Impressive, conical form that is a quite distinctive from the rest of the junipers. With its needle-like blue/green foliage that hangs on slim, graceful, weeping branches, and dark purple berry-like cones. Bark is exfoliating orange-brown, which lights up in the evening sun. It is very slow growing producing about 30 cm or more of new growth per year.
Red spider mite infestations are common in warm weather, and must be treated early.
Woodlands of the wetter areas of Himalayas (altitude of 1800 m to 3900 m), with moist, well-drained soils with a pH of neutral or slightly alkaline. Preferring wet climates and humidity.
Bark/Stem Description
Bark is rough, orange/ brown which is flaking or exfoliating in long strips.
Flower/Leaf Bud Description
Ovoid or conical, light green, 1.3 cm long, resinous with loose scales.
Leaf Description
The blue/ green needle-like foliage, approximately 5-10 mm long, hangs down loosely and is arranged in six ranks in alternating whorls of three.
Fruit Description
The cones are a light green turning a glossy dark blue/black berry-like, spherical to egg-shaped as it matures. The cones are light brown, 3-4 mm in length.
Colour Description
The needle-like foliage is bright green in the summer, turning a darker green in the winter, and the cones a glossy dark blue/black. Has rusty orange-brown bark that lights up in the evening sun.
Texture Description
Has a coarse texture, and an exfoliating bark.
Notable Specimens
Westonbirt, The National Arboretum, Tetbury, Gloucestershire, England.
Usually propagated by seed, cuttings or grafting. To propagate the Weeping Juniper from seed, it needs to go through a period of cold stratification, followed by a warming period, then a cold spell again, each for about 2-3 months. This is required since the seed has a hard coat and is very slow to germinate. To help speed up the germination process, give the seed a 3-6 second soaking in boiling water. Cuttings can also be taken once wood has matured, collect a 5-10 cm cutting with a heel, during September/October.
Ethnobotanical Uses (Disclaimer)
Timber is used for manufacturing coffins in China and trees are used as windbreaks in the Himalayans.
Adams, R. (2004). Junipers of the world: The Genus Juniperus. Vancouver, B.C.: Trafford. Farjon, A., & Filer, D. (2013). An Atlas of the World's Conifers: An analysis of their distribution, biogeography, diversity, and conservation status (p. 524). Brill.