As you may have noticed from other questions of mine, I am in a process of transforming my yard into a bird garden. (This is a long-term multi-year enterprise).

One of the most attractive plants for birds ever is Juniperus virginiana (Eastern Red Cedar), I found that from numerous internet sources. For example a web site says:

Eastern Red Cedar is great for birds. The berry-like cones provide food from late summer through much of the winter for many bird species. The social Cedar Waxwings, for whom fruit is a larger part of their diet than it is for most birds, were named for their love of these cones. Eastern Red Cedar’s dense foliage provides good coverage for small to medium sized birds who are looking for a place to perch safely out of view and reach from larger predators.

The base species is a large tree (30 m), but its cultivars (that are much smaller) are usually sold by nurseries, and then planted in gardens. In my area, cultivars 'Spartan' and 'Heitzii' are available.

My questions regarding Juniperus virginiana are following:

1) Are both female and male plants needed for producing berries?

2) If yes, do male and female plants need to be of the same cultivar?

3) Do some of you have berry-producing Juniperus virginiana? What is your experience regarding male/female relations?

1 Answer 1


Juniperus virginiana are largely dioecious, but occasionally monoecious, so it's safest to select male and female plants if you want to be sure of fruits/seedcases http://dendro.cnre.vt.edu/dendrology/syllabus/factsheet.cfm?ID=97

If you decide on a particular variety or cultivar, it's probably best to look up whichever one it is to check its status from a reproductive point of view.

  • What if male and female plants are of different cultivar?
    – VividD
    Commented Dec 4, 2017 at 20:02
  • Pass - that's why I said check whichever cultivar you're interested in. The female needs to flower at the same the male is producing...
    – Bamboo
    Commented Dec 4, 2017 at 20:03
  • How can I check if a male Heitzii can successfully polinate a female Spartan? Is possible different flowering time the only obstacle?
    – VividD
    Commented Dec 4, 2017 at 20:05
  • I never thought that flowering time would be a problem, it seems to me that flowering season is long for juniperuses - their flowers are tiny, but abundant, and can be seen almost always.... But maybe I am mistaken.
    – VividD
    Commented Dec 4, 2017 at 20:10
  • 1
    I've lived with wild J. virginiana for seven years. There were a few wild non-virginiana plants about, but the vast majority of junipers were virginiana. They seemed to pollinate one another with no problems. According Michael Dirr (US "woodies" expert), virginiana is always dioecious and ripens its seeds in the first year. J. scopularum is NOT a synonym but is closely related, so my guess would be if you limit your cultivars to members of those genera you'd be okay.
    – Jurp
    Commented Dec 5, 2017 at 1:34

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.