Cupressus Sempervirens is a species of cypress tree commonly found in the Mediterranean region and other areas with similar weather conditions. This coniferous evergreen tree is medium sized and has an average height of about 35 meters. The tree has a conic crown and level branches with loosely hanging branchlets. This species are long lived with some reported to have more than a 1000 years. According to scientific classification, it belongs to kingdom Plantae, division Pinophyta, class Pinopsida, order Pinales, family Cyperaceae, genus Cupressus and species sempervirens.
The tree is dark green in color and usually grows in dense sprays with leaves of about 2 to 5 mm long which are produced on rounded shoots. The seed cones are green at first but turn brown with time. Male cones release pollen grains in the late winter. It grows in areas that experience dry summers and rainy winters.
The tree is well known for its durable and perfumed wood which is used to construct doors, windows and house furniture. Before the discovery of stainless steel, cypress was used in distilleries to ferment alcohol. Growing in full sun on various well drained soils, the plant need to be planted in a fine prepared site which is watered periodically until the roots are established. This species has a high genetic and ecologic value.
These trees are prone to diseases like cancer and the roots rot in poorly drained soils. Groups of well matured trees form a good wind resistance since the branches cover a wide area. The plant is medicinal and has been used to treat whooping cough and also controls flu and sore throats. A foot wash of the cones clean the feet and helps to minimize excessive sweating.
Leaves and wood have certain percentages of essential oil, besides both are used in perfume and soap making industries. The wood of this plant is hard and durable, it therefore have been used to make cabinets as well as wardrobes. The timber retains its fragrance which helps to repel moths and other wood warms. The oil harnessed from these trees is of great benefit and can be used during major upheavals as it restores and soothes hunger.
It improves blood circulation in the body and thereby sorts out coughs and bronchitis. The tree is perennial and originated from the east. The red brown cones have seed nuts inside. Wood from this tree was used by the Cretans and Phoenicians to build houses and ships while Egyptians made sarcophagi from it whereas the Greeks carved statues of their gods from it.
The Cupressus Sempervirens has two major varieties according to the branch type which can either lay horizontally or vertically. It prevents erosion since it firmly holds the soil with its roots. The trunk of a mature plant has a very wide diameter.
It has a straight trunk and its shoots grow radiating in all directions. The female and male cones are well separated along the branches. The reproductive cycle of the plant takes more than three years and the first flowers appear after four years from the time it was planted.