Trees dioecious, to 15 m, single-stemmed to 1--3 m, occasionally branching at base; crown rounded to irregular and open. Bark brown, exfoliating in thin strips, that of small branchlets (5--10 mm diam.) smooth, that of larger branchlets exfoliating in strips. Branches spreading to ascending; branchlets erect, 3--4-sided in cross section, ca. 2/3 or less as wide as length of scalelike leaves. Leaves dark green, abaxial glands hemispheric, raised (particularly obvious on whip leaves), exudate absent, margins denticulate (at 20´); whip leaves 3--6 mm, not glaucous adaxially; scalelike leaves 1--2 mm, not overlapping or overlapping to 1/4 their length, keeled, apex acute to obtuse, spreading. Seed cones maturing in 1 year, of 1 size, with straight peduncles, ovoid to nearly globose, 6--9 mm, dark blue, glaucous, fleshy and resinous, with 1(--3) seeds. Seeds 4--6 mm. 2 n = 22.
Limestone glades and bluffs; 150--600 m; Ark., Mo., Okla., Tex.; Mexico.
The name Juniperus mexicana Sprengel has been misapplied to this species. Reports of hybridization with J . virginiana and J . pinchotii have been refuted using numerous chemical and morphologic characters (R. P. Adams 1977).
Ashe juniper is a source of Texas-cedarwood oil and fence posts.