J as in Juniperus

Blogging from A to Z April (2015) Challenge | My Green Nook Family: Cupressaceae

Genus: Juniperus

Species: Juniperus communis

Common names: common juniper  Swedish name: en


The genus Juniperus consists of about 60 species widely distributed from the Arctic to the Central America. They are evergreen conifers with needle-like and/or scale-like leaves. The female seed cones are very distinctive, with a berry-like structure. Juniper berries are often aromatic and can be used as a spice in a wide variety of culinary dishes. It enhance meat with a strong flavour, such as game and is best known for the primary flavoring in gin.

Many varieties of Juniperus are used in landscaping and horticulture, Being one of the most popular species for use in bonsai. It is also a symbol of longevity, strength, athleticism, and fertility. Juniper is one of the plants used in religious rites. The ripened berries is known for treating conditions such as asthma and sciatica, as well as to speed childbirth. Juniper berries are steam distilled to produce an essential oil.

Juniperus communis is dioecious, with male and female cones on separate plants, which are wind-pollinated. In Scandinavia juniper wood is used in crafting, for example making wooden butter knives. It was also frequently used for trenails in wooden shipbuilding due to its tough properties.

J as in Juniperus. Blogging from A to Z April (2015) Challenge | My Green Nook

Juniperus sp.

Description: Juniperus communis is very variable in its form. From a cone-shaped tall shrub to a low spreading shrub, and occasionally even a tree reaching 15 m. Juniperus communis is cultivated and used as an evergreen ornamental shrub in gardens. Therefore having a horticultural value. Attracts birds.

How to grow: Juniperus communis thrives in full sun and well-drained soils. Most varieties are drought-tolerant once established. Junipers are tolerant of a wide variety of sites and have many uses, including in the rock garden and as groundcover. It can be used in containers. Requiring low maintenance and little if any pruning. Propagation by cuttings.

The thousand-year old art of living miniature plants. Bonsai means BON = bowl and SAI = plant and is derived from China, but mostly developed in Japan. A bonsai requires high maintenance, but is so beautiful and sculptural.

J as in Juniperus. Blogging from A to Z April (2015) Challenge | My Green Nook

9 thoughts on “J as in Juniperus

  1. Wow! Its the first time I have seen blue cones. Very pretty. I saw many growing as a hedge in South Carolina. A tree close to my heart but it isnt happy at all in this warm weather. Many of my friends nurture Junipers as bonsai but there is always some worry about how it will withstand repotting. Thanks for this wonderful post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can’t believe I never knew what a Juniper tree was. Considering that I’ve probably lived among them my whole life in Washington State, I should hang my head in shame. Great J post!

    Jeffrey Beesler’s World of the Scribe


    • Thank you Jeff! No need to be in shame. There are so many species out there. If you don´t have an interest in botany a yellow flower simply is a yellow flower. Next time you are outdoors I am sure you will be able to say – “That´s a Juniper” 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s