Juniperus semiglobosa - Tien Shan Foetid Juniper

  • Posted on: 24 October 2018
Juniperus semiglobosa is a common juniper in the high mountains of Central Asia and we have sufficiently documented it for our Conifers Around the World (see page 353). However, it was noted by us in a 2003 expedition to Kyrgyzstan that it is variable species requiring more study in the future.
A good opportunity arrived quite recently with the sponsorship of Mr. Elemér Barabits (Altekfa Nursery, Hungary) with whom we could travel to Bishkek and from there to the nearby mountains (the western ranges of Tien Shan) to have a new look at this interesting plant.
We visited Ala-Archa National Park, south of the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, and the nearby Issyk-Ata valley with similar assemblages of juniper than in Ala-Archa N.P. ("archa" means 'juniper' in the local language).
The various specimens of J. semiglobosa are up to 10 m high, with trunk diameter of the oldest tree we observed, about 1 m; the foliage is variable from drooping to more ascending, very lax to more dense. It is a dioecious species, and this time we found only one monoecious tree (among about 100). The whirlwind expedition was organized with the helpful assistance of Dr. Georgy Lazkov, one of the best experts of the flora of the country, of the Botanical Institute of the Kyrgyz Academy of Sciences to whom we are indebted.
- Juniperus semiglobosa, Ala-Archa National Park (ca. 1900 m)
- Elemér Barabits with a compact growing specimen of J. semiglobosa
- Dr. Georgy Lazkov noting the coordinates, Ala-Archa National Park
- István Rácz with an old tree of Juniperus semiglobosa
- Juniperus semiglobosa (larger specimens) with three other junipers at Issyk-Ata (ca. 1800 m)