Herb: Grecian Juniper
Latin name: Juniperus excelsa
Synonyms: Juniperus macropoda
Family: Cupressaceae (Cypress Family)
Medicinal use of Grecian Juniper:The smoke from the branches is used in India to treat the delirium of fevers.
Description of the plant:
Habitat of the herb:Inner dry ranges of the Himalayas, 1500 - 4200 metres, from Nepal to Afghanistan.
Edible parts of Grecian Juniper:Fruit - raw or cooked. A liquid is obtained from the fruit (used for drinking?).The cones are about 7 - 12mm in diameter and take 2 years to mature.
Other uses of the herb:The bark is used for roofing. Wood - moderately hard, close and even grained, fragrant, good quality. Used for construction, fuel and it is also burnt as an incense. The crushed foliage emits a warm resinous scent.
Propagation of Grecian Juniper:The seed requires a period of cold stratification. The seed has a hard seedcoat and can be very slow to germinate, requiring a cold period followed by a warm period and then another cold spell, each of 2 - 3 months duration. Soaking the seed for 3 - 6 seconds in boiling water may speed up the germination process. The seed is best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Some might germinate in the following spring, though most will take another year. Another possibility is to harvest the seed "green" (when the embryo has fully formed but before the seedcoat has hardened). The seedlings can be potted up into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. Grow on in pots until large enough, then plant out in early summer. When stored dry, the seed can remain viable for several years. Cuttings of mature wood, 5 - 10cm with a heel, September/October in a cold frame. Plant out in the following autumn. Layering in September/October. Takes 12 months.
Cultivation of the herb:Inner dry ranges of the Himalayas, 1500 - 4200 metres, from Nepal to Afghanistan.
Known hazards of Juniperus excelsa:None known
Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.