Common juniper

Habitat: Riparian forests
Plant species: woody plants

Common juniper

The common juniper(Juniperus communis) is known mainly as juniper bush. As a cypress species, it is found mainly on dry, rather nutrient-poor, calcareous soils.

The pungent leaves of the common juniper are needle-shaped and up to 15 mm long. The spherical round fruits are berry cones. Initially greenish, they later turn blue-black and ripen in the 2nd year or even in the 3rd year after fertilization.

Already in earlier times people knew about its healing power, which is due to the essential oils and tannins in its fruits. As a "guardian" he still stands today often next to graves. Popular belief says that it facilitates the passage of the souls of the deceased into the afterlife.

In the dry pine forests along the Lech River, the common juniper is widespread. Here it also occurs as a tree with a growth height of up to 8 m. In the rest of Tyrol, arboreal junipers are known only in three other locations. In 1960, the Tyrolean Nature Conservation Act designated these stands as natural monuments (= A natural entity that is to be preserved because of its rarity, peculiarity or beauty, or also because of its scientific, historical or cultural significance, as well as because of the special character it lends to the landscape. If there is a public interest for this, the district administrative authority can declare a natural monument by means of a notice. - Tyrolean Nature Conservation Act 2005) declared and placed under protection.

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