Juniperus phoenicea Linnaeus
Common names: Phoenicean Juniper [En], Genévrier de Lycie, Genévrier de Phénicie, Genévrier rouge [Fr], Phönizischer Wacholder [De], Ginepro licio, Ginepro fenicio [It],
Άρκευθος, Γιουνίπερος, Θαμνοκυπάρισσο [Gr], Finike ardici [Tu]
IUCN Status : LC (Least Concern)
Gavathas, POROS ● Greece
Description: It is a large shrub or small tree reaching 2–12 metres (6.6–39 ft) tall, with a trunk up to 1 metre (3.3 ft) diameter and a rounded or irregular crown. The leaves are of two forms, juvenile needle-like leaves 8-10 mm long on seedlings, and adult scale-leaves 0.5-2 mm long on older plants; they are arranged in opposite decussate pairs or whorls of three. It is largely monoecious, but some individual plants are dioecious. The cones are berry-like, 6-14 mm in diameter, orange-brown, occasionally with a pinkish waxy bloom, and contain 3-8 seeds; they are mature in about 18 months. The male cones are 2-4 mm long, and shed their pollen in early spring.
There are two varieties, treated as subspecies by some authors:
• J. phoenicea var. phoenicea – Throughout the range of the species. Cones globose, about as wide as long.
• J. phoenicea var. turbinate – Confined to coastal sand dune habitats. Cones oval, narrower than long.
Habitat: It mostly grows at low altitudes close to the coast, but reaches 2,400 metres (7,900 ft) altitude in the south of its range in the Atlas Mountains.
Distribution: It is found throughout the Mediterranean region, from Morocco and Portugal east to Italy, Turkey and Egypt, south on the mountains of Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, and in western Saudi Arabia near the Red Sea, and also on Madeira and the Canary Islands.
Uses: J. phoenicea (and Cupressus sempervirens) leaf extracts show a remarkable effect in enhancing liver and kidney functions and may thus be of therapeutic potential in treatment hepatotoxicity and nephrotoxicity.
Because of its high antioxidant activity, some authors suggest the use of J. Phoenicia and 3 other junipers in the food industry as preservative agents or extension of the shelf-life of raw and processed foods.
Wikipedia, Juniperus phoenicea
IUCN Red List
Ali SA, Rizk MZ, Ibrahim NA, Abdallah MS, Sharara HM, Moustafa MM., 2010.Protective role of Juniperus phoenicea and Cupressus sempervirens against CCI, World J Gastrointest Pharmacol Ther. 1(6):123-31.
Öztürk M., Tümen I., Ugur A., Aydogmus-Öztürk F., Topcu G., 2011.
Evaluation of fruit extracts of six Turkish Juniperus species for their antioxidant, anticholinesterase and antimicrobial activities,
Journal of the science of food and agriculture, vol. 91, no5, pp. 867-876.