General - evergreen, prostrate or spreading shrub to 1 m tall, bark very thin, reddish brown, shredding, scaly.
Leaves - Needle-like to narrowly lance-shaped, 5 - 12 mm long (sometimes to 15 mm), jointed at base, very prickly; whitish above, dark green below; in 3's.
Fruit - female cones berry-like, 6-10 mm in diameter, bluish with white-grey bloom, fleshy, maturing in the second season; male cones smaller, catkin-like; sexes on separate plants.
Dry open woods, gravelly ridges, outcrops, and open rocky slopes; throughout NW Ontario's boreal region, north to Arctic coast; circumpolar.
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