About This Plant

Juniperus communis, commonly known as common juniper, is a coniferous evergreen shrub or small tree with distinctive bark and height characteristics. The bark of Juniperus communis is typically thin, fibrous, and reddish-brown to greyish-brown in colour. As the shrub ages, the bark may exfoliate or peel in strips, revealing a smoother, lighter layer beneath. Common juniper is known for its variable height, ranging from a low, spreading shrub to a small tree. In optimal conditions, it can reach heights of 3 to 10 feet (approximately 1 to 3 meters),. The growth habit can be more prostrate or upright, depending on factors such as soil, climate, and specific cultivar characteristics.

The Story

Leaf

Juniperus communis has needle-like leaves that are awl-shaped or scale-like. These leaves are arranged in whorls of three, encircling the branches. The colour of the leaves can vary, ranging from deep green to bluish-green, depending on the specific variety. The leaves are typically sharp-pointed and have a resinous fragrance when crushed.

Produce

The common juniper, scientifically known as Juniperus communis, produces small, berry-like cones as its fruiting structures. These cones are known as juniper berries. Despite being called berries, they are actually a type of cone. The juniper berries are typically small, about 5 to 10 millimetres in diameter, and have a bluish-black colour when fully mature. Each berry contains seeds and is covered by fleshy, fused scales. The berries have a resinous, aromatic flavour and are used in various culinary applications, including flavouring in certain cuisines and the production of gin.
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