Juniperus turkestanica (Gintzburger et al., 2003)

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Convolvulus hamadae
Gintzburger et al., Rangelands in Uzbekistan, 2003
Juniperus turkestanica (Gintzburger et al., 2003)
Carex pachystylis
Juniperus turkestanica (east of Bakhmal towards Turkestan mountains)
Juniperus turkestanica
Juniperus turkestanica relict tree at the Tym-Karnab School

Juniperus turkestanica Kom

Local name:

  • Russian: Можжевельник туркестанский, арча - možževel'nik turkestanskij, arča
  • Uzbek: Uryuk-Archa

Description and morphology: Large tree with scale-like or needle-like, opposite or in whorls of 3, acicular juvenile growth leaves. Dioecious: male strobili (3.0–4.0 mm long, 2.5–3.0 mm wide), terminal axillary; female cones (2.5– 3.5 mm diameter), globose, deep violet, subtended by 3–8 scale-like bracts, becoming reddish and fleshy when mature.

Reproduction: Sexual. Flowering and fruit maturation: August–October. Seed: 1–12 in each cone with large embryo, wingless, united into a berry-like fruit. Seed coat thick, woody.

Pastoral importance: Not grazed. Rich in volatile oil.

Economic interest: Intensively harvested for fuelwood and the pencil industry. Pharmaceutical, cosmetics and food industries (as spices). Fruits have high sugar content (up to 42%), but extraction not economical. Intensively used for forestry purposes.

Habitat: Most common on rocky ridges at 2000–4000 m, forming open forest.

Distribution: High mountains in Tien Shan and Pamir-Alai. One of the longest-lived species, in Middle Asia some specimens reputed to be well over 1000 years old.