Introduction: Four species of Juniperus namely J. indica, J. recurva, J. squamata and J. communis are found in Nepal. But, in terms of trade, black juniper i.e. Juniperus indica is common species.
J. indica: Woody shrub or small tree about 0.5-2 m high, with largely horizontal branching. Leaves dark grey-green, dimorphic, with adult plants mostly scale-like, sometimes needle-like on shaded shoots, decussate or sometimes in whorls of 3, closely appressed, 1-3 mm long; while young plants mostly needle-like leaves, borne in whorls of 3, 5-8 mm long.
Availability: Distributed from 3000 to 4600 m in on open and rocky alpine slopes in drier areas. Above 4000 m asl, Juniper remains as shrub whereas below 4000 m asl Juniper are tall trees.
Harvesting Time: Leaves throughout the year; Fruits July to August.
Description of traded part: As mentioned, the structure of leaves are the major basis of identification. When leaves are rubbed in hand, sweet aromatic nature is distinct. Dry leaves are greenish brown. Leaves in trade are mixed with petioles having thicker scales and black fruit.
Uses: Local people of the Himalayan region also use to gift dried leaves of Juniper to their relatives in Kathmandu or abroad. In medicine, leaves of Juniper are used to increase Appetite, cure Stomachache, killing microorganisms of stomach, controlling Dysentery, Piles, bronchitis etc. Fruit is used for sex stimulant, curing Asthma, old bronchitis, lever and bone marrow related diseases. To flavor alcoholic drinks, fruits of juniper and essential oil are highly useful. Essential oil is commercially used in the preparation of costly cosmetic materials like soap, rum sprays, pesticides and other materials.
Conservation Status: Conservation status of Juniper in national level is unknown.