Oldfield Common Juniper produces an edible fruit. The consistency of the fruit when ripe is soft, mealy, and sweet with resinous flesh. The fruit has been traditionally made into a syrup, flavor for gin, and spicing up culinary dishes. Medicinally, the fruit was used as a diuretic and to treat rheumatic pains, scurvy, and fevers. Juniper was burned in the Middle Ages to cleanse the air and ward off the Plague.
Does not tolerate wildfires because the resinous and flammable foliage.
This plant is listed as ‘Threatened’ in Illinois.
Oldfield Common Juniper can develop a picturesque windswept look with age, usually seen on the bluffs of Lake Michigan.