Dictionary > Juniper


(Science: botany) Any evergreen shrub or tree, of the genus Juniperus and order Coniferae.
The common juniper (j. Communis) is a shrub of a low, spreading form, having awl-shaped, rigid leaves in whorls of threes, and bearing small purplish blue berries (or galbuli), of a warm, pungent taste, used as diuretic and in flavoring gin. A resin exudes from the bark, which has erroneously been considered identical with sandarach, and is used as pounce. The oil of juniper is acrid, and used for various purposes, as in medicine, for making varnish, etc. The wood of several species is of a reddish colour, hard and durable, and is used in cabinetwork under the names of red cedar, bermuda cedar, etc.
(Science: zoology) juniper worm, the larva of a geometrid moth (Drepanodes varus). It feeds upon the leaves of the juniper, and mimics the small twigs both in form and colour, in a remarkable manner.
Origin: L. Juniperus, prop, youth-producing, and so called from its evergreen appearance, from the roots of E. Juvenile, and parent. Cf. Gin the liquor.