Description from Flora of China
Juniperus utilis Koidzumi; J. utilis var. modesta Nakai.
Shrubs erect, or small trees to 10 m, dioecious; crown pyramidal or cylindric; branches ascending; branchlets pendulous, 3-angled when young. Leaves in whorls of 3, green abaxially, linear-needlelike, thick, "V"-shaped in cross section, 1-2.3 cm × ca. 1 mm, rigid, deeply grooved with a narrow, white stomatal band adaxially, prominently keeled abaxially, base jointed, not decurrent, apex sharply pointed. Pollen cones axillary, ellipsoid or subglobose, 3-5 mm; microsporophylls 9-12(or more), in whorls of 3, each with 4-6 pollen sacs. Seed cones axillary, light brownish blue or bluish black when ripe, usually glaucous, globose, 6-8 mm in diam. Seeds often subovoid, ca. 5 mm, indistinctly 4-ridged, apex obtuse or rounded.
Only subsp. rigida, described here, occurs in China; subsp. conferta (Parlatore) Kitamura (J. conferta Parlatore) is a decumbent, coastal shrub that occurs in Japan and E Russia (Sakhalin).
Dry areas in mountains; below 2200 m. Gansu, N Hebei, Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shanxi [Japan, Korea]