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Juniperus foetidissima, Aladağlar Mountains 1

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Divisio: Tracheophyta
Divisio: Pinophyta
Classis: Pinopsida
Ordo: Pinales

Familia: Cupressaceae
Subfamilia: Cupressoideae
Genus: Juniperus
Sectio: Juniperus sect. Sabina
Species: Juniperus foetidissima

Juniperus foetidissima Willd., Sp. Pl., ed. 4, 4: 853 (1806).

Sabina foetidissima (Willd.) Antoine, Cupress.-Gatt.: 49 (1857).
Juniperus phoenicea Pall., Fl. Ross. 2: 16 (1815), nom. illeg.
Juniperus sabinoides Griseb., Spic. Fl. Rumel. 2: 352 (1846).
Sabina grisebachii Antoine, Cupress.-Gatt.: 61 (1857).
Juniperus foetidissima var. pindicola Formánek, Verh. Naturf. Vereins Brünn 33: 20 (1894 publ. 1895).
Juniperus foetidissima var. squarrosa Medw., Trudy Bot. Sada Imp. Yur'evsk. Univ. 3: 229 (1903).
Juniperus foetidissima f. squarrosa (Medw.) Beissn., Handb. Nadelholzk., ed. 2: 602 (1909).
Misapplied names
Juniperus sabina Sm. in J.Sibthorp & J.E.Smith, Fl. Graec. Prodr. 2: 264 (1816), sensu auct.

Native distribution areas:

Continental: Europe
Regional: Southeastern Europe
Albania, Greece, Yugoslavia.
Regional: Eastern Europe
Continental: Asia-Temperate
Regional: Middle Asia
Regional: Caucasus
North Caucasus, Transcaucasus.
Regional: Western Asia
Cyprus, East Aegean Islands, Iran, Lebanon-Syria, Turkey.

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition
Primary references

Willdenow, C.L. 1806. Species Plantarum. Editio quarta. Tomus 4. Pars 2. Pp. 634–1157. Impensis G. C. Nauk, Berolini [Berlin]. BHL Biblioteca Digital Reference page.

Additional references

Adams, R.P. 2004. Junipers of the World: The genus Juniperus. v + 275 p., Vancouver: Trafford, ISBN 1-4120-4250-X. Reference page.
Farjon, A. 2005. Monograph of Cupressaceae and Sciadopitys. 643 p., Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. ISBN 1-84246-068-4. Reference page.


Govaerts, R. et al. 2020. Juniperus foetidissima in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published online. Accessed: 2020 Aug 07. Reference page.
USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Juniperus foetidissima in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Accessed: 2 Jun 2006.

Vernacular names
Ελληνικά: θυία
English: Stinking Juniper
русский: Можжевельник вонючий
Türkçe: Kokar Ardıç

Juniperus foetidissima, with common names foetid juniper or stinking juniper, is a juniper tree species in the family Cupressaceae.


Juniperus foetidissima is a medium-sized tree reaching 6–25 metres (20–82 feet) tall, with a trunk up to 2.5 m (8 ft) in diameter. It has a broadly conical to rounded or irregular crown.

The leaves are of two forms, juvenile needle-like leaves 8–10 millimetres (5⁄16–3⁄8 in) long on seedlings and re-growth after branch damage, and adult scale-leaves 2–3 mm long on older plants. It is largely dioecious with separate male and female plants, but some individual plants are monoecious, producing both sexes.

The cones are berry-like, 7–13 mm in diameter, blue-black with a whitish waxy bloom, and contain 1–2 (rarely 3) seeds; they are mature in about 18 months. The male cones are 2–3.5 mm long, and shed their pollen in early spring.

It often occurs together with Juniperus excelsa, being distinguished from it by its thicker shoots, 1.2–2 mm in diameter (while J. excelsa's are 0.7–1.3 mm), and green, rather than grey-green, leaves. The crushed foliage has a strong foetid smell, from which the species gets its name.
J. foetidissima, in the Taurus Mountains, Turkey

The tree is native to southeastern Europe and Western Asia, from southern Albania and northern Greece, southern North Macedonia, across Turkey to Syria and the Lebanon, the Caucasus mountains, the Alborz mountains of northern Iran, and east to southwestern Turkmenistan. There is also an isolated population in the Crimea.

A number of notably large specimens are specially protected in Turkey; the largest is the Aslanardıçı ("Lion Juniper"), 25 m (82 ft) tall and 3.38 m (11 ft) in trunk diameter, estimated to be 1,700 years old.[2]

Farjon, A. (2013). "Juniperus foetidissima". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2013: e.T42234A2965043. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2013-1.RLTS.T42234A2965043.en. Retrieved 12 November 2021.

Boscawen, A. (1994). Southwest Turkey. Int. Dendrol. Soc. Yearbk. 1993: 105–128.

Further reading

Farjon, A. (2013). "Juniperus foetidissima". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2013: e.T42234A2965043. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2013-1.RLTS.T42234A2965043.en. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
Adams, R. P. (2004). Junipers of the World: The genus Juniperus. Victoria: Trafford. ISBN 1-4120-4250-X.
Farjon, A. (2005). Monograph of Cupressaceae and Sciadopitys. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. ISBN 1-84246-068-4.

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