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  Flora Wildflowers /  Cade, Prickly Juniper

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Cade, Prickly Juniper

Juniperus oxycedrus     Fr: Genévrier Cade

Gallery of 3 photos for Cade, Prickly Juniper

This evergreen shrub or small tree is native to the Mediterranean region and is widespread throughout Beyond. The bush is naturally cone-shaped and very prickly-leaved, but will lose its shape with age. Cade can be found in pine forests and on rocky mountain slopes, as well as the acid Maquis and limestone Garrigue, but it grows slowly on these thin soils.

The photo shows an old bush in front of a borie near Gordes, in the Vaucluse. The second large photo shows a group of conical Cade bushes growing at about 500 m, behind the village of Cabris.

At higher altitudes cade is replaced by Common Juniper,J. communis, with its edible blue berries. At the dividing line, the two species are sometimes found growing together. Cade can be identified by its grayer appearance at a distance or by the double white stripe on the sharp little (16 mm) leaves in close-up. The female cones (little berry-like flowers) start out green, then turn a reddish-brown.

The shape of the bush shows the sex: the green berries of the female plant drag the branches down, giving it an overall droopy shape, the male plant has only flowers, and is clearly cone-shaped.

Flowers. Mar-May

Altitude. below 800-900 m.

Practical. Cade oil is distilled from the highly aromatic wood and used as an effective remedy for excema and other skin ailments in humans and animals. More currently, the oil is used for shampoo and other beauty care products. The wood is used to make charcoal and used as stakes (pity to cut them!) since it will resist rot for a good 20 years.

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