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ITALIAN CYPRESS - CUPRESSUS SEMPERVIRENS

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Scientific classification

Kingdom: Plantae

Division: Pinophyta

Class: Pinopsida

Order: Pinales

Family: Cupressaceae

Genus: Cupressus

Species: C. sempervirens

Binomial name

Cupressus sempervirens

Cupressus sempervirens, the Mediterranean cypress (also known as Italian cypress, Tuscan cypress, graveyard cypress, or pencil pine), is a species of cypress native to the eastern Mediterranean region, in northeast Libya, southern Albania, southern coastal Croatia (Dalmatia), southern Greece, southern Turkey, Cyprus, northern Egypt, western Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Malta, Italy, western Jordan, and also a disjunct population in Iran.

C. sempervirens is a medium-sized coniferous evergreen tree to 35 m (115 ft) tall, with a conic crown with level branches and variably loosely hanging branchlets. It is very long-lived, with some trees reported to be over 1,000 years old.

The foliage grows in dense sprays, dark green in colour. The leaves are scale-like, 2–5 mm long, and produced on rounded (not flattened) shoots. The seed cones are ovoid or oblong, 25–40 mm long, with 10-14 scales, green at first, maturing brown about 20–24 months after pollination. The male cones are 3–5 mm long, and release pollen in late winter. It is moderately susceptible to cypress canker, caused by the fungus Seiridium cardinale, and can suffer extensive dieback where this disease is common. The species name sempervirens comes from the Latin for 'evergreen'.

Iran's ancient cypresses

Cypress, Cupressus sempervirens, was the first choice for Iranian Gardens. In all of the famous Persian Gardens, such as Fin Garden, Shazdeh Garden, Dowlat-Abad, and others, this tree plays a central role in their design.[citation needed] The oldest living Cypress is the Sarv-e-Abarkooh in Iran's Yazd Province. Its age is estimated to be approximately 4,000 years.

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