In the Juniper Trees category you will find lots of nice pictures of juniper trees.
Juniper Tree Facts
You will also find a lot of wonderful information on juniper trees, including information about the juniper tree species, planting information, and much more.
This is valuable and useful information that can help you to learn more about the juniper tree.
Juniper Tree Images
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Juniper Tree Photo Gallery
Juniper Trees, Facts and Information about the Juniper Tree
Here is some detailed information on the juniper tree.
Junipers are coniferous plants in the genus Juniperus of the cypress family Cupressaceae. Depending on taxonomic viewpoint, there are between 50 to 67 species of juniper, widely distributed throughout the northern hemisphere, from the Arctic, south to tropical Africa in the Old World, and to the mountains of Central America.
Junipers vary in size and shape from tall trees, 20 to 40 m tall, to columnar or low spreading shrubs with long trailing branches. They are evergreen with needle-like and/or scale-like leaves. They can be either monoecious or dioecious. The female seed cones are very distinctive, with fleshy, fruit-like coalescing scales which fuse together to form a "berry"-like structure, 4 to 27 mm long, with 1 to 12 unwinged, hard-shelled seeds. In some species these "berries" are red-brown or orange but in most they are blue; they are often aromatic and can be used as a spice. The seed maturation time varies between species from 6 to 18 months after pollination. The male cones are similar to those of other Cupressaceae, with 6 to 20 scales; most shed their pollen in early spring, but some species pollinate in the autumn.
Juniper berries are a spice used in a wide variety of culinary dishes and best known for the primary flavoring in gin (and responsible for gin's name, which is a shortening of the Dutch word for juniper, genever). Juniper berries are also used as the primary flavor in the liquor Jenever and sahti-style of beers. Juniper berry sauce is often a popular flavoring choice for quail, pheasant, veal, rabbit, venison and other meat dishes.
Many of the earliest prehistoric people lived in or near juniper forests which furnished them food, fuel, and wood for shelter or utensils. Many species, such as J. chinensis (Chinese Juniper) from eastern Asia, are extensively used in landscaping and horticulture, and as one of the most popular species for use in bonsai. It is also a symbol of longevity, strength, athleticism, and fertility.
Some junipers are susceptible to Gymnosporangium rust disease, and can be a serious problem for those people growing apple trees, the alternate host of the disease.
Some juniper trees are misleadingly given the common name "cedar," including Juniperus virginiana, the "red cedar" that is used widely in cedar drawers. True cedars are those tree species in the genus Cedrus, family Pinaceae.
In Morocco, the tar (gitran) of the arar tree (Juniperus phoenicea) is applied in dotted patterns on bisque drinking cups. Gitran makes the water more fragrant and is said to be good for the teeth.
American Indians have used juniper to treat diabetes; such treatments by the Navajo, for example, are under clinical study. Clinical studies have shown that treatment with juniper may retard the development of streptozotocin diabetes in mice. Native Americans also used juniper berries as a female contraceptive. The 17th Century herbalist physician Nicholas Culpeper recommended the ripened berries for conditions such as asthma and sciatica, as well as to speed childbirth.
Juniper berries are steam distilled to produce an essential oil that may vary from colorless to yellow or pale green. Some of its chemical components are alpha pinene, cadinene, camphene and terpineol.
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