Species list


Juniperus thurifera

Spanish juniper

Spanish juniper (Eng), sabina albar, enebro, cedro de España (Spa), savina turífera (Cat), intzentsu-miterra (Baq).


DID YOU KNOW...? According to legend, part of El Cid's trip into exile in Valencia was through a forest of Spanish juniper, because it is open vegetation and ambushes can be anticipated.


The Spanish juniper can be up to 20 m tall, although it does not normally exceed 8 m. Its bark is ash grey and it has a pyramidal form. The branches are somewhat flattened and rough to the touch, unlike the Phoenicean Juniper (Juniperus phoenicea L.). They are made up of bright green, scale-like leaves that are imbricated like the scales on la fish. However, newly emerged young leaves are similar to those of other junipers, and are shaped like small needles. Specimens tend to have male and female cones separated on the same plant. The fruits (actually false fruit), known as galbuli, are globose, 8-10 mm in diameter, and dark blue or purple when ripe. They are usually covered in a whitish, dusty-looking layer (bloom).


This tree replaces the holm oak where the climate is more continental, i.e., there is a greater temperature variation and more prolonged drought, although it sometimes lives together with this species or the black pine. It forms woodlands that cannot strictly be called forests, as they are very open to favour root development. It is indifferent to soil type, but prefers limestones and adapts well to poor and stony substrates. It grows at altitudes of 300-2000 m.


This species lives in Spain, France, Corsica and northern Africa. The best examples are found in the centre and east of the peninsula.