Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Juniper, a general name for the genus Juniperus, belonging to the cypress family among the Coniferae (q.v.). It includes about twenty-five species of evergreen aromatic shrubs or small trees native to the cold and temperate regions of the northern hemisphere, and represented in a fossil state in Tertiary rocks. The leaves are usually small, acicular, and in decussate whorls of three. The flowers are dioecious, the male ones consisting of several anther-scales, each bearing three or six pollen-sacs, and the female ones of two or three whorls of scales bearing ovules singly at their base. These scales become fleshy and fuse into the fleshy so-called "berry" or galbulus of a red or purple colour. There are large oil-glands on the surface of the seeds. J. communis, the common juniper, a native of Britain and other northern countries, yields the diuretic berries used for flavouring gin, which derives its name from geni'evre, the French for juniper.