Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Juniperus sabina L. var. tamariscifolia Ait.

Fully-hardy, low growing, vigorous, evergreen shrub with horizontal tiers of spreading, short, sharply pointed, mainly juvenile leaves, borne in pairs or threes and bright green.  To 2m.  Tamariscifolia is a naturally occurring variety of Juniperus sabina from the mountains of southern Europe.  [RHSE, Hortus, Hilliers’].

Horticultural & Botanical History

Introduced to Britain in 1562.  [JD].  The species is figured by Elizabeth Blackwell as the Savine Tree or Sabina.  ‘It seldom grows tall in England; the leaves are a grass green, the flowers green and the berries a blackish purple.  It is planted here in gardens and seldome produces fruit for which some have thought it barren.  Savine is accounted hot & dry, opening & attenuating, being a great provoker of the catamenia, causing abortions & expelling the birth.  It is esteemed good to destroy worms in children, for which purpose Mr. Ray commends the juice mixt with milk & sweetened with sugar; the juice beat into a cataplasm with hog’s lard, cures children’s scabby heads.  Officinal preparations are the Ol. Sabinae per Infusionum et decoctionem, & the Oleum Sab. chymicum.’  [Blackwell pl.214/737].

History at Camden Park

Listed only in the 1845 catalogue.  Juniperus sabina was requested of Loddiges’ Nursery on 6th January 1845 [MP A2933-2, p.28] and this is a possible source.


Published Aug 03, 2009 - 01:21 PM | Last updated Jul 16, 2010 - 05:09 PM

Illustrated is a branch with leaves, and berry and seeds.

Juniperus sabina L. var. tamariscifolia Ait. | Blackwell pl.214/1737 | BHL

Family Cupressaceae
Region of origin

Southern Europe

  • Juniperus tamariscifolia Hort. ex K.Koch
Common Name

Spanish juniper, Tamarisk-leaved Savin

Name in the Camden Park Record

Juniperus tamariscifolia   

Confidence level high