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Common Juniper

Juniperus communis

Plant Data

Order:
Pinales
Family:
Cupressaceae (Cypress)
Type:
Evergreen shrub
Flowering Months:
JAN  FEB  MAR  APR  MAY  JUN  JUL  AUG  SEP  OCT  NOV  DEC

Flower:
֍
Yellow, 4 petals
 
Small male and female yellow flowers which appear on separate shrubs.
Fruit:
The fruit is a berry, although not a true berry. Strictly speaking, the dark bluish-purple berries are actually cones. The fruit take up to 2 years to ripen and grow up to 8mm in diameter.
Leaves:
An evergreen shrub. Its stiff, tightly packed needles grow up to 1cm in length. Each needle has a broad silver line running along the inside.
Maximum Size:
7 metres tall
Foraging Notes:
The fruit can be eaten raw or cooked and is used for flavouring gin. It is usually dried first prior to eating. Large amounts of the fruit can cause kidney damage. Tea can be made from the berries, leaves and stems. The seeds can be roasted and used as a coffee substitute.
Never consume a wild plant unless you are 100% certain that it is safe to eat and you know that you have identified it correctly.
Aroma:
Woody or sweet-smelling.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen
Habitats:
Bogs, heathland, moorland, mountains, rocks, sea cliffs.