Cupressus sempervirens, the Mediterranean cypress is a plant that belongs to the Cupressaceae family. The plant is native to the eastern Mediterranean, has been used since antiquity as an ornamental plant and imported throughout the Mediterranean basin by the Phoenicians. The plant is an evergreen that can reach 25 meters in height, although there are specimens that reach 50 meters. The cypress has a very distinctive crown, which varies between an oval shape and a fully pyramidal shape. The bark is brown to gray in color. Cypress wood has a very hard consistency, resistant to moth attack and moisture. The leaves have a dark green color with a characteristic shape and a length of about 1 millimeter.
Characteristics of Cupressus sempervirens
The flowers of Cupressus sempervirens are located at the terminal part of the branches, they have a yellowish color and appear indistinctly male and female on the same plant. The fruits have the shape of a small light green sphere when young and turn brown after maturing for 2 years. When the fruits reach maturity, they open and release the seeds which have the particularity of being winged, for a better distribution. The Mediterranean cypress is a plant that prefers hot climates, with long and dry summers, while it suffers mainly from prolonged cold. However, the plants adapt easily to difficult conditions, indeed they could vegetate even up to 700 meters of altitude and in the presence of arid soils.
Cupressus sempervirens care
Cupressus sempervirens prefers well-lit places well protected from wind and winter cold. The plants do not particularly suffer from the cold, although they could not survive where the climate is too harsh. Cypresses are plants that also suffer from heavily polluted areas. The ideal soil for Cupressus sempervirens should be sufficiently moist, although the plants can withstand a few dry spells. Irrigation must be guaranteed regularly once every 15 days. In spring and autumn, fertilization should also be provided with organic fertilizer, which should be buried at the foot of the plant. Cypress does not require special soils,
Cupressus sempervirens is a very resistant plant, although it can be attacked by certain parasitic fungi such as Coryneum cardinal. This fungus could cause cypress canker which may manifest as yellowing and drooping of twigs. This pathology, if not treated properly, could lead to the death of the plant. In the event of a fungus attack, it would be advisable to remove the infected parts and burn them to avoid the remains of infection. The cypress aphid could attach itself to the leaves by feeding on the sap, but injecting toxic substances that could cause the plant to dry out. In case of weakening of the plant, attacks of other insects could also occur, causing considerable damage to the cypress.