Adams (2012, 2014) recognises plants from the Ryukyu Islands as Juniperus taxifolia var. lutchuensis (Koidz) Satake on the basis of differences in DNA sequences and minor differences in foliage characters. On the IUCN Redlist, this variety is not recognised.
In some of the larger islands (e.g. Okinawa) this species is being used as a shore windbreak and also cultivated in gardens. It is in cultivation in gardens in Japan, but rare. In the past its wood was used to a limited extent in house building, for posts and as fuel. Seeds were sent to the Arnold Arboretum in Massachusetts, USA by Ernest Wilson in the early part of the 20th century; it remains a rarity in horticulture outside the islands where it is also native.
References and further reading
- Adams, R.P. & A.E. Schwarzbach (2012) Taxonomy of Juniperus, section Juniperus: sequence analysis of nrDNA and five cpDNA regions. Phytologia 94(2):280-297.
- Adams, R. 2014. Junipers of the world; the genus Juniperus. 4th Edition. USA: Trafford. 415 pp.
- Katsuki, T., Farjon, A. & Luscombe, D. 2013. Juniperus taxifolia. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T32042A2809466. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2013-1.RLTS.T32042A2809466.en. Downloaded on 06 July 2017.