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Cupressus sempervirens
Italian cypress

Italian cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) is a medium-sized conifer naturally occurring near the eastern Mediterranean Basin and in the Middle East. It has scaled needles and often appears with a dense, columnar fastigiated crown.

The Italian cypress has been cultivated in the Mediterranean region for ornamental purposes since ancient times and is still a valued ornamental today, planted all over the world. The tree’s fragrant wood is resistant to insects and fungi and is particularly good for underwater construction, such as shipbuilding. It is also suitable for smaller constructions including doors, cabinets and garden furniture. Recently, the tree has been used in reforestation projects due to its ability to grow in dry and poor soils. Additionally, the tree is planted to provide firebreaks and coastal windbreaks.

Naturally, the Italian cypress is found in dry mountainous areas with hot summers and wet winters. It grows on various soil types, even those which are compacted and rocky. The tree is a light-demanding, pioneer species, growing either in pure stands or together with other evergreen shrubs and smaller trees; it is able to tolerate drought and heat. 

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