Juniper (Juniperus spp.)

The Blue "Berries" of the Juniper Attracted My Son Oliver

Ollie was picking the blue berries of our juniper in the yard and asked me what kind of tree it was and can he eat the them. I did a google search to learn more. We have two junipers in our yard, one which I think is the Common Juniper and then this unidentified Juniper shrub. It is not much higher than a meter off the ground and it has a nice, silver-green foliage. I learned that the berries and not really berries, but instead are coniferous cones that fuse together to look like a berry. The berries take 2-3 years to ripen. The oil distilled from them is used as a flavoring for gin and it has medicinal value. There are 50-60 species of the Juniperus genus world wide, found in temperate climates throughout the world. It is a member of the Cypress Family.

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