2019 55¢ Winter Berries: Juniper Berry
Value: 55¢ 1-ounce First-class rate (Forever)
Issue Date: September 17, 2019
First Day City:
Type of Stamp: Definitive
Printed by: Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd.
Printing Method: Offset
Format: Double-sided Booklet of 20
Quantity Printed: 300,000,000
The common juniper (Juniperus communis) is found in more areas than any other woody plant. It grows in cool regions of the Northern Hemisphere from the southern Arctic to a latitude of about 30º N. Common juniper is found mainly in North America, Europe, and Asia, but some examples have been found in the Atlas Mountains of Africa.
Common juniper grows in either tree or shrub form and can range from 33 to 52 feet tall. While most conifers have needles, the common juniper technically has leaves (though they still resemble needles). Like other conifers, common juniper reproduces via cones, though its cones are quite different from the brown, woody varieties we are used to seeing...
Like all other juniper varieties, the common juniper's cones look like – and are usually referred to as – berries. They are produced over a two-to-three-year cycle in which it takes about 18 months for berries to fully ripen. During this time, the cycle begins all over again, meaning all stages of growth are often present on the same plant. Ripe berries are eaten by birds, whose digestive systems process all but the seed inside the berry. Thanks to the birds, these seeds are then distributed in many different places, assuring the common juniper's survival for many years to come.