Irish wildflowers

Juniper, Juniperus communis, Aitea
Photos: The Burren, Co.Clare
and Aughinish, Co.Limerick

Juniper
Juniperus communis
Aiteal
Family: Cupressaceae

Flowering May-June. Evergreen shrub. Native.

Small yellow flowers, male and female on separate plants (diocoecious). Small berry-like female cones, bluish-black when ripe. Whorls of 3 needle-like grey-green leaves. Flaking reddish-brown bark. Very variable, erect or prostrate.

J. communis ssp. communis: Prostrate or erect, leaves sharp-pointed, branches prickly. Acidic or basic ground, but mainly on limestone rocks. (Illustrated)
J. communis ssp. nana: Prostrate, mainly on siliceous rocks. Wider, blunt-pointed leaves. Only found west Galway, Mayo, Donegal.
     
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