Juniper, a large genus of evergreen trees and shrubs. The junipers are related to the cypresses and cedars. More than 40 species grow in the cooler regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Junipers vary in form from low, spreading shrubs to trees more than 100 feet (30 m) tall. The leaves are needle-shaped in young junipers, scalelike in older plants. The small, bluish fruit is a fleshy cone resembling a berry. It contains from one to six seeds.
The common juniper sometimes grows 40 feet (12 m) tall, but in windy, rocky areas may be only one to two feet (30 to 60 cm) high. Its fruit yields an acrid oil that is used as a stimulant and in flavoring liquors, particularly gin. The Japanese garden juniper is often grown by bonsai hobbyists.
The common juniper is Juniperus communis; the Japanese garden juniper, J. procumbent nana. Junipers belong to the family Pinaceae.