Mediterranean cypress Facts

Mediterranean cypress Facts
Mediterranean cypress is evergreen plant that belongs to the family Cupressaceae. It originates from Persia and Syria. Mediterranean cypress is also known as Italian cypress or Tuscan cypress because it can be seen all over Italy (in Tuscan region especially). Mediterranean cypress requires full sun, clay or sandy soil, water and nutrients for successful development (especially when the tree is young). Mediterranean cypress is cultivated mainly because of its unusual morphology and ability to hide unsightly objects. It also provides protection against wind in the windy areas. Other than in ornamental purposes, Mediterranean cypress is cultivated because of its wood which has application in numerous industries.
Interesting Mediterranean cypress Facts:
Mediterranean cypress can reach the height of up to 115 feet.
Mediterranean cypress develops columnar crown that grows only 3 to 6 feet in width. Mediterranean cypress is also known as Pencil Pine due to unusual shape of the crown.
Mediterranean cypress has thin gray bark that is smooth in young trees. It becomes brown-grey, longitudinally furrowed in old trees.
Mediterranean cypress has small (less than 2 inches in length) scale-like evergreen leaves. They are arranged in the whorl.
Male and female cones are produced on the same plant (monoecious). Cones are pollinated by wind.
Cones are ovoid or oblong in shape. They can reach up to one inch in length. Immature cones are green in color. 20 to 24 months after pollination cones become brown.
Mediterranean cypress is usually propagated via tissue cuttings.
Leaves of Mediterranean cypress are fragrant and often planted near the cemeteries, churches and houses to enrich surrounding air with "breath of freshness".
Mediterranean cypress is associated with death in numerous cultures because it cannot survive injuries resulting from cutting of large pieces of the tree.
Etruscans believed that Mediterranean cypress has supernatural powers due to strong aroma characteristic for the tree. They have planted cypress trees around cemeteries to keep demons on a safe distance and to ensure safe passage toward the afterlife.
Wood of Mediterranean cypress contains essential oils which prevent tree decomposition. Because of that, cypress is often used in the manufacture of coffins and sarcophagi. It is also used in the manufacture of furniture.
Mediterranean cypress is known as "drama tree" in New Mexico because it bends under the slightest breeze.
Mediterranean cypress is used in the cosmetic industry for the production of shampoos with anti-seborrheic and anti-dandruff effects and for the production of anti-aging creams. Fragrant essential oils are used in the industry of perfumes.
Mediterranean cypress is susceptible to cankers induced by two types of fungi. Cankers decreased number of Mediterranean cypresses to nearly alarming number in certain parts of the world.
Mediterranean cypress can survive more than 1000 years in the wild. Oldest known tree has around 4000 years.

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