Usually a shrub of variable habit, sometimes a small tree. Leaves awl-shaped, 1-1.5cm long, prickle-pointed and white-banded above. J.c. 'Compressa' is the best known of all dwarf conifers for the rock and sink gardens forming tight grey columns 30-60cm tall and sometimes more but only growing at 2-3cm per annum. J.c. 'Depressa' grows to 60cm high and much wider, though fairly slow-growing; 'Depressa Aurea' has its young shoots golden yellow. 'Hornibrookii' forms flat ground-hugging mats of smaller leaves; best in the larger rock garden. J.c. var. nana produces a small compact bush which turns bronze in winter. The true plant is not too easy to grow and is sometimes confused with the more vigorous prostrate forms of J. communis. 'Gold Cone' forms feathery columns of yellow foliage, eventually to 1m or more in height. 'Green Carpet' is a rich green mat-former eventually to 1m or more in diameter.