Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Gin production threatened

Posted on by royvickery |

180According to a spokeswoman for the charity Plantlife Scotland, native juniper (Juniperus communis) bushes are threatened by the fungus Phytophthora austrocedrae which is putting an estimated 45% of their habitats at risk.
The berries juniper give gin its distinctive flavour, so ‘Britain’s long tradition of home-grown gin production is under threat’.
Plantlife estimate that juniper has ‘disappeared from over a third of Britain where it was previously found:
The juniper population, once large, has been curtailed by generation of gin production and medicinal use. Illicit 19th-century whisky-makers used juniper branches, which do not smoke when burnt, to avoid detection when booklegging.’
[The Times, 20 June 2013].

Image: Easedale Tarn, Cumbria; July 2015.

Updated 14 July 2014.

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