Leafl. W. Bot. 5: 125. 1948.
Shrubs or trees monoecious, to 6 (–12) m, multi or single-stemmed; crown rounded. Bark exfoliating in thin gray-brown strips, that of smaller and larger branchlets smooth. Branches spreading to ascending; branchlets erect, 3–4-sided in cross-section, about as wide as length of scalelike leaves. Leaves light yellow-green, abaxial glands inconspicuous and embedded, exudate absent, margins denticulate (at 20×); whip leaves 3–5 mm, glaucous adaxially; scalelike leaves 1–2 mm, not overlapping, or, if so, by less than 1/10 their length, keeled, apex rounded, acute or occasionally obtuse, appressed. Seed-cones maturing in 1–2 years, of 1–2 sizes, with straight peduncles, globose, (6–) 8–9 (–12) mm, bluish brown, often almost tan beneath glaucous coating, fibrous, with 1 (–2) seeds. Seeds 4–5 mm.
Habitat: Dry, rocky soil and slopes
Elevation: 1300–2600 m
Ariz., Calif., Colo., Idaho, Mont., Nev., N.Mex., Utah, Wyo.
Juniperus osteosperma is the dominant juniper of Utah. It is reported to hybridize with J. occidentalis in northwestern Nevada (F. C. Vasek 1966).