Kingdom Plantae
Class Pinopsida
Order Pinales
Family Cupressaceae
Genus Juniperus
Species communis
Classification Linnaeus, 1753
Common Name common juniper

Geographic Range it has a wide areal, from southern Arctic till the latitude of 30° North in Northern America, Europe, Asia.
Physical Characteristics evergreen shrub, it can also be a columnar tree. It can be up to 15 meters tall. The bark is thin, oftern exfoliating in thin strips. Little branches tend to be yellowish or green when young, but they turn brown and harden with age. Leaves are simple, arranged in whorls of 3. Younger leaves are needlelike. They are green . Male strobili are sessile or stalked, while the female ones are made up of green ovate scales. Berrylike cones are red at first, ripening to a bluish-black.
Notes it can develops adventitious roots when branches that reach the ground are buried.
Habitat it can grow in a wide range of sites: wooded and rocky hillsides, dunes, abandoned fields. It doesn't tolerate shade, so it can be found only in open environments.
Reproduction male and female plants are separated. Female cones are oval and contain 1 - 12 seeds without wings. Germination rates for common juniper seed are relatively poor, because ideal conditions are difficult to find: humidity and compact soil with sufficient oxygen diffusion . Seeds ripen in 6 - 18 months after the pollination. Seeds are dispersed by birds during the second growing season. Male cones are yellow, 2 - 3 millimeters long and they fall down in March - April after disperding their pollen. Juniper seeds have a semipermeable and thick seedcoat and requires a period of warm temperatures followed by a period of cold temperatures lasting approximately 7 months . Strobili form during June or July, and these structures fuse, generally during the 2nd year, to produce a berrylike cone. Cones ripens from August through October of the 2nd or, more rarely, 3rd year. Cones generally remain on the plant for at least 2 years , with dispersal occurring in August of the second season.

References USDA Forest Service
Web References http://www.fs.fed.us/
Source of the photo http://www.plantimag.de/

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