Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Juniper berry and Crow berry

On September 01, 2011, the Faroe Islands Post has issued the stamp features the ligneous  plants, Juniper berry and Crow berry.These woody plants are part of 400 species of plants that make up the wild flowers of the Faroe Island.

Juniper berry or Common juniper.

The juniper is a low-growing, evergreen shrub and as a dioecious species (has separate  the male and female plants). It needles measure approximately 1 cm and have a light, grey-green colour.
The male flower is yellow and oblong with an abundance of staments, meanwhile the female flower is greenish in colour, making it difficult to see.  The fruit consist of berry cones that take 2-3 years to mature.
The first year colour of berry cones are green and a deep blue colour in mature (after 3 years).
Juniper tree are low growing and cannot be used as timber. Juniper was used for smoking meat and rope ( made of twisted juniper stems) meanwhile the berries are not actually berries but seed cones, are also used as spice and medication.

Crowberry or Empetrum ningrum

There are two subspecies of crow berry grow in the Faroe Islands: Common crowberry (Empetrum ningrum ningrum) and Mountain crowberry (Empetrum ningrum hermaphroditum). 
Common crowberry founds in all the islands, meanwhile Mountain crowberry founds in the island of Streymoy and the southern islands.

The crowberry is a genius of dwarf shrub, an evergreen plant throughout the winter. This species has commonly found in the Faroe Islands  growing-well on dry heathland.
Common crowberry is a dioecious species and Mountain crowberry has hermaphrodites flowers. The stem of the common crowberry are low and trailing and the  mountain crowberry has more upright stems. The first develop pink flower around April – May  and  the fruit mature in the glossy black colour around July-August. The distribution of seeds by people and animal (bird) so dispersed over a wide area of the Faroe Islands.(Resources: Bulletin of the Faroe Island Stamps.)

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