Gold Cone Juniper
Juniperus communis ‘Gold Cone’
Description: ‘Gold Cone’ juniper (Juniperis communis ‘Gold Cone’) adds a wonderful, colorful accent to northern landscapes. This evergreen conifer (cone- bearer) forms a tight spire which reaches to 8’-10’ tall, and remains a mere 18”-20” across. When the new growth emerges in the spring it is a lovely bright yellow green, a color which settles into a soft green as the summer wears on. Use in full sun positions where its tight form can be used to draw the eye to it. It needs very little fussing to maintain its tight form though it can splay open in heavy snow, exposing the twiggy and brown interior. In order to avoid this issue, plant it away from overhangs or rooflines where sliding snow could impact it.
This species of juniper occurs around the world in northern regions, and is generally tolerant of tough conditions once established. Its short, sharp needles bear a single white stripe, which is a challenge to see on this more colorful version. Small blue cones occur on female plants (there’s no way to know if you have a boy or girl ‘til you see fruit). The fruit, often called juniper “berries”, is not enormously showy but interesting, and useful. Because the fruit has been used to flavor gin, as a seasoning for strongly flavored meats and for medicinal purposes, this plant can become part of your utilitarian landscape and be viewed as more than just a pretty face.
‘Gold Cone’ was discovered in New Zealand and introduced into the nursery trade in 1980 by Kordes Nursery, Bilsen, Germany. Hardy to USDA Zone 3.
- Type/habit: Small shrub
- Key season and features of interest: Bright yellow-green foliage
- Flowering period: N/A
- Evergreen or deciduous: Evergreen
- Native? No
- Pollinator plant: Wind pollinated
- Wildlife benefits: Shelter and food for birds
- Site/Condition tolerance: Heat and humidity; rocky soil; air pollution
- Sun/Shade preference: Full sun
- Soil condition preference: Average, well-drained soil
- Low maintenance; relatively pest and disease resistant; deer resistant
Growth Habit: Slow growing, compact, upright and columnar form
Size (mature height and spread): 8-10’ tall by 1-2’ wide
Hardiness (USDA Zones): 3-6
Nativity: New Zealand
Suggested Uses: Hedge, accent, erosion control
Year of award: 2017