The epithet scopulorum translates to “growing on cliffs”, and that is indeed where my friend Chris found this craggy tree. I was around 25m higher up the cliff, taking a photograph of a different Rocky Mountain juniper, when Chris shouted up to me that I should come down the starting-to-get-slick-from-a-light-rain lakeside cliff to get a photograph of this tree. I declined at first, but he insisted, so I very gingerly made my way down. It was well worth it, so Chris gets much credit for this photo.
Rocky Mountain juniper is, as its common name implies, native to the Rocky Mountains and vicinity from Canada south to Mexico. The US Forest Service has an excellent account of Juniperus scopulorum, including a refined distribution map. For more photographs of the plant, I’ll again refer you to the Burke Museum of Natural History and its entry on Junipuer scopulorum.
A note to BPotD readers from Manitoba: I’ll be giving a presentation on the “Plants of UBC Botanical Garden” to the Beausejour Daylily Garden Society on Sunday night. Send me an email if you’d like more details on when and where, if you are interested in attending.
Photography resource link: For inspiration, Tasmanian photographer Geoff Murray. Many thanks to Ken B for suggesting this one!