Juniperus communis is a species of coniferous tree or shrub in the family Cupressaceae, commonly known as common juniper or just juniper. It is native to many parts of the Northern Hemisphere, including Europe, Asia, and North America.
The plant typically grows to a height of 4-10 meters, although it can also grow as a low shrub. It has blue-green to gray-green needle-like leaves that are arranged in whorls of three. The plant is dioecious, meaning that there are separate male and female plants, with the female plants producing small, berry-like cones that are initially green but turn blue-black as they ripen.
Juniperus communis has a long history of use for both medicinal and culinary purposes. The berries are used to flavor gin, and they can also be used to make a variety of other alcoholic beverages, as well as marinades, sauces, and meat dishes. Juniper berries are also used as a traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments, including digestive issues, respiratory infections, and arthritis.
In addition to its culinary and medicinal uses, Juniperus communis has also been used for its wood, which is highly valued for its durability and fragrance. It is commonly used for making furniture, flooring, and other household items, as well as for fuel and as a smoking agent for meats and fish.
Overall, Juniperus communis is an important plant with a wide range of uses and cultural significance.