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Tree (or shrub) to 20 m. Bark grey or greyish brown, fibrous, peeling in long strips. Crown broad and ovoid; a shrub habit can develop at high altitudes. Branchlets loosely arranged, straight or slightly curved, terete to four-angled. Juvenile leaves needle-like, basally decurrent; mature leaves greyish green, decussate or rarely in whorls of three, appressed, 0.15–0.6 cm long, apex acute, slightly incurved; leaf resin glands prominent, abaxial, near the leaf base. Monoecious. Male strobili 0.2–0.3 cm long, globose to ovoid, microsporophylls 10. Female cones globose, 0.8–1.2 cm diameter, purplish black, slightly glaucous. Seeds one per cone. Fu et al. 1999e, Farjon 2005c. Distribution CHINA: northern Sichuan. Habitat High-altitude forest between 3000 and 4000 m asl. USDA Hardiness Zone 5. Conservation status Lower Risk. Cross-reference K139.
Juniperus komarovii is extremely rare in cultivation, specimens having been traced only at Quarryhill and Howick. In both cases the plants were grown from SICH 716, collected in 1991 at 3360 m near the Liuba river, Sichuan. When seen in 2004 one tree at Quarryhill was 3–4 m tall, forming a multistemmed column with erect branches and spreading to drooping branchlets, but this has since died of Armillaria (H. Higson, pers. comm. 2007). The foliage is a dull sage-green, and as the old foliage is retained and visible the tree has a distinctly dusty look to it. Older trees develop spreading limbs. According to Bill McNamara (pers. comm. 2004), cuttings are difficult to root.