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.
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.