Italian Cypress (Mediterranean Cypress)
Italian cypress is a medium-sized conifer found across the Mediterranean region. It has also been grown in colder places like North America, New Zealand, and the British Isles.
|Scientific Name||Cupressus sempervirens|
|Other Names||Mediterranean cypress, Tuscan cypress, pencil pine, graveyard cypress|
|Identification||Height: Up to 35 meters (115 feet)
Needles (Leaves): Dark green and scaly with lengths of 2-5 millimeters, and grows on round shoots
Trunk Diameter: 1.5 feet
Cones: ½-1 inch oval shaped brown colored with a dry, hard exterior
Seeds: Tiny, flattened, brown, lacking resin blisters
|Distribution||Libya, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Albania, Croatia, Greece, Turkey, Malta, Italy, Jordan, Cyprus, Iran|
|Habitat||Dry and hilly areas|
|Lifespan||50-150 years; some have been reported to live for over 1,000 years|
|Growing Conditions||Soil Requirements: Well-drained sandy, loamy or clay, pH irrelevant
Light Requirements: Full sun
Rainfall: Not mandatory; high drought tolerance
Summer Conditions: Impervious to long drawn out summers
Winter Conditions: Not too tolerant of cold temperatures, especially during the first year of life
|Diseases & Pests||May suffer from cypress canker because of a fungus named Seiridium cardinal; bagworms and mites also cause problems sometimes|
|Propagation||Cutting and layering|
|Seedling Development||Seeds germinate slowly and may take up to a year from germination to planting.|
|Uses||Widely used as an ornamental tree, fire-resistant wood used for construction, furniture making; Also used as an astringent, anti-dandruff, anti-aging, anti-seborrheic and as a fragrance|
|IUCN Conservation Status||Least Concern|
- The scientific name sempervirens means evergreen in Latin.
- There is a 4,000 year-old Mediterranean cypress tree in Iran.
- This tree has been associated with mourning because of its use in cemeteries.