Juniper, juniperus communis. Spain, France. Several species of the genus Juniperus grow all over temperate Europe and Asia. The classical Latin name of that plant, iuniperus, cannot be explained satisfactorily; possibly, it is a Celtic loan. The berry-like cones take two years to mature. They are aromatic with a sweet accent. Juniper is an important spice in many European cuisines, especially in Alpine regions, where juniper grows abundantly. It is the only example of a spice in the botanic group of the coniferae, and also one of the few examples of spices from cold climatic regions, though the best quality stems from Southern European countries. Juniper is used to make sauerkraut, but its main application is, however, meat; it is felt indispensable for venison and combines well with black pepper, marjoram and laurel berries. Juniper berries, properly called cones, should be crushed immediately before use.