The common juniper is a short trailing shrub with needle-like gray-green leaves. They have bluish-grey berries that take two years to ripen.
RANGE & HABITAT
The common juniper is the only conifer found all over the Northern Hemisphere. It is found in Asia, Europe and North America. Junipers like dry open woods, gravely areas, stone outcrops and alpine mountain areas.
The common juniper begins to make seeds after its second growing season. The fruits stay on the tree for at least two years and each fruit contains three seeds. The fruit is generally spread in August when animals start eating it.
American robins and black-capped chickadee eat the berries. Wild hoofed animals, like deer and sheep, eat the juniper sometimes.
TRADITIONAL USES BY INDIGENOUS PEOPLES
The berries and the boughs are used to make tea to help colds, heart trouble and breathing problems and the boughs can be used for cleaning and making houses smell better.
Berries are used as flavouring for cooking spice and alcohols.
COSEWIC: Not at Risk
Photo: Nancy Turner