Juniperus, male branch with cones - close-up
Juniperus communis - close up of male cones.
Juniperus vegetation in the Lutterzand, de Lutte, the Netherlands
Juniperus communis is a small coniferous evergreen tree or shrub, very variable in form, ranging from 10 m (33 ft)—rarely 16 m (52 ft)—tall to a low, often prostrate spreading shrub in exposed locations. It has needle-like leaves, green with a single white stomatal band on the inner surface. It is dioecious, with male and female cones, which are wind pollinated, on separate plants.
The fruit are berry-like cones, initially green, ripening in 18 months to purple-black with a blue waxy coating. The seeds are dispersed when birds eat the cones, digesting the fleshy scales and passing the hard, unwinged seeds in their droppings. The male cones are yellow, 2–3 mm (0.079–0.118 in) long, and fall soon after shedding their pollen in March–April.
Juniperus communis has the largest geographical range of any woody plant, with a circumpolar distribution throughout the cool temperate Northern Hemisphere from the Arctic south in mountains to around 30°N latitude in North America, Europe and Asia. Relict populations can be found in the Atlas Mountains of Africa (Source: Wikipedia)
Photo's made during a paleo-ecologic excursion 'Reading the Landscape' in Twente, the Netherlands - guided by Henry Hooghiemstra, paleo-ecologist on the UVA (University of Amsterdam)