Creeping Juniper - Juniperus horizontalis
(see State Rank Reason below)
MNPS Threat Rank
State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
See rank details
- Details on Status Ranking and Review
Score0-1 - Moderate to Large: Population size is imprecisely known but is believed to be >10,000 individuals.
Score0 - Widespread species within Montana (occurs in 5% or more of the state or generally occurring in 6 or more sub-basins.) as well as outside of Montana.
Area of Occupancy
Score0 - High: Occurs in >25 Subwatersheds (6th Code HUC’s).
Score0 - Low: Species is a generalist that occurs in a variety of habitats and/or is tolerant of disturbed or degraded habitats (C -Values of 1-4).
Score0 - Stable or Increasing: Population size, range, and/or available habitat stable, increasing or fluctuating in the recent past (approximately 30 years).
Score0 - Low: Impacts, if any, to the species are expected to be minor or insignificant (affecting <10% of populations) in severity, scope and immediacy.
Score0 - Low Vulnerability: Species does not have any unusual or specific life history or biological attributes or limted reproductive potential which makes it susceptible to extirpation from stochastic events or other adverse impacts to its habitat and thus slow to recover.
Raw Conservation Status Score
0 to 1 total points scored out of a possible 19.
Creeping juniper grows along the ground in dense mats no more than 2 feet tall and 4-8 feet wide. The peeling, reddish brown bark is obscured by the thick overlapping mat of branches. The evergreen leaves are mostly scale-like and pressed close to the branches but needle-like leaves can also be found as in other junipers. Obscure flowers produce blue, berry-like cones containing 3-5 seeds.
Across much of MT; AK to NL south to CO, IL and NY (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).
Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations:
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Map Help and Descriptions
(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)
Sandy prairie, old gravel bars, limestone outcrops; plains, valleys, montane, rarely up to treeline (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX)
- Additional ReferencesLegend: View Online Publication
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- Fritzen, D.E. 1995. Ecology and behavior of Mule Deer on the Rosebud Coal Mine, Montana. Ph.D. Dissertation. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 143 p.
- Glazier, R.J. 1971. Ecological and morphological relationships of subspecies of Peromyscus maniculatus near St. Mary, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 41 p.
- Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
- Lonner, T.N. 1972. Age distributions and some age relationships of key browse plants on big game ranges in Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 79 p.
- Martin, P.R. 1973. Ecology of skunkbrush sumac (Rhus trilobata Nutt.) in Montana with special reference to use by mule deer. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 97 p.
- Miller, J.G. 1978. An ecoligical study of creeping juniper (Juniperus horizontalis Moench.) in Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 154 p.
- Nielsen, L.S. 1978. The effects of rest-rotation grazing on the distribution of Sharp-tailed Grouse. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 52 p.
- Pallister, G.L. 1974. The seasonal distribution and range use of bighorn sheep in the Beartooth Mountains, with special reference to the West Rosebud and Stillwater herds. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 67 p.
- Quire, R.L. 2013. The sagebrush steppe of Montana and southeastern Idaho shows evidence of high native plant diversity, stability, and resistance to the detrimental effects of nonnative plant species. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 124 p.
- Scow, K.L. 1981. Ecological distribution of small mammals at Sarpy Creek, Montana, with special consideration of the Deer Mouse, Peromyscus maniculatus. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 73 p.
- Seipel, T.F. 2006. Plant species diversity in the sagebrush steppe of Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 87 p.
- Stewart, S.T. 1975. Ecology of the West Rosebud and Stillwater bighorn sheep herds, Beartooth Mountains, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 130 p.
- Tuinstra, K. E. 1967. Vegetation of the floodplains and first terraces of Rock Creek near Red Lodge, Montana. Ph.D dissertation. Montana State University, Bozeman 110 pp.