Common juniper, Juniperus communis, is a widely distributed conifer with a natural range so vast it is known through out the entire northern hemisphere. It is renowned for its ability to thrive in conditions so harsh most other plants would not be able to become established. J. communis has been a widely utilized plant since antiquity; it has been employed by the ancient Greeks and Romans as well as the First Peoples of North America for a variety of cultural and culinary uses. Modern times have seen juniper in use as the principle-flavoring agent for the popular spirit gin, and a veritable explosion of cultivars have taken their place in the nursery market for various uses in the landscape. This review paper attempts to make what is old, new again, by adapting the natural strengths of J. communis to changing consumer tastes, as well as a changing climate. In a world of mass production and automation some consumers have gravitated towards the bespoke and the do-it-yourself production of products where possible. A prime example of this shift can be seen in the rising popularity of home brewing; an activity that this review suggests should be extended to distilling. Global climate change also presents an opportunity for new types of juniper production; many regions are facing increasingly droughty conditions that threaten to erase much needed green space from consumers’ yards and public spaces. Juniper is naturally a hardy plant with drought resistant qualities and this review seeks to provide an avenue for enhancing those and other traits that would be beneficial for regions stricken by a changing climate.
Juniperus communis: Revisiting use of common juniper for modern culinary uses & producing drought resistant cultivars for evolving markets..
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