cypress(redirected from Italian cypresses)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.
Cypress(sī`prəs), city (1990 pop. 42,655), Orange co., S Calif. near Long Beach; inc. 1956. Forest Lawn–Cypress, a branch of the famous cemetery in Glendale, Calif., is a major employer, and there is light manufacturing. Los Alamitos Naval Air Station and the Los Alamitos Racetrack are nearby.
cypress,common name for members of the Cupressaceae, a widely distributed family of coniferous shrubs and trees, several yielding valuable timber. The major genera are Juniperus (juniperjuniper,
any tree or shrub of the genus Juniperus, aromatic evergreens of the family Cupressaceae (cypress family), widely distributed over the north temperate zone. Many are valuable as a source of lumber and oil. The small fleshy cones are berrylike in appearance.
..... Click the link for more information. ), Thuja (arborvitaearborvitae
[Lat.,=tree of life], aromatic evergreen tree of the genus Thuja of the family Cupressaceae (cypress family), with scalelike leaves borne on flattened branchlets of a fanlike appearance and with very small cones.
..... Click the link for more information. ), and Cupressus (the true cypresses). Species of the latter, found in S Europe, East Asia, and W North America, are resinous evergreens with a fragrant, durable wood and scalelike leaves. The Monterey cypress (C. macrocarpa) is native to a limited region around the Bay of Monterey, Calif., but is cultivated in many parts of the world. It is sometimes planted as a hedge. The cypress of classical literature is the European C. sempervirens or Italian cypress. It has since early times been symbolic of mourning and, more recently, of immortality. The gates of St. Peter's at Rome, which stood for 1,100 years, were made of its wood. The funereal, or mourning, cypress (C. funebris) of China, with "weeping" branches, is a popular ornamental elsewhere. American trees of the genus Chamaecyparis of the same family are also called cypresses. Important as timber trees are the Lawson cypress, or Port Orford cedar (C. lawsoniana), and the Nootka, Sitka, or Alaska yellow cypress (C. nootkatensis), both of NW North America. C. thyoides, called white cedar in E North America, is a smaller tree also used for lumber. The lumber called cypress in the S United States is chiefly from trees of the family Taxodiaceae (bald cypressbald cypress,
common name for members of the Taxodiaceae, a small family of deciduous or evergreen conifers with needlelike or scalelike leaves and woody cones. Most species of the family are trees of East Asia; almost all are cultivated for ornament (and are often erroneously
..... Click the link for more information. family). The true cypress family is classified in the division PinophytaPinophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called gymnosperms. The gymnosperms, a group that includes the pine, have stems, roots and leaves, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
..... Click the link for more information. , class Pinopsida, order Coniferales.
(Cupressus), a genus of evergreen trees or shrubs of the family Cupressaceae. The leaves are crosswise-opposite, small, scale-like, and resinous-glandular; they are either ap-pressed or spreading, with a convex underside. The cones are sphere-shaped and woody. The scales are peltate, multifaceted, and appressed, with a short cusp in the center. The scales on mature cones (second season) are somewhat separated. The seeds are flat and have wings that are more or less developed.
Cypresses are used as ornamental trees to border avenues; they are also planted individually or as a forest. There are between 15 and 20 known species of cypress, distributed in the temperate zones of Europe, Asia, North Africa (the Sahara), and North America. Eleven species are cultivated in the USSR, in the Crimea, on the Black Sea shore of the Caucasus, and in some regions of Middle Asia.
The most frequently cultivated species is the Italian cypress (Cupressus sempervirens), which reaches a height of 30 m and a thickness of 60 cm. It begins to bear fruit between the ages of four and six years. The Italian cypress is drought-resistant, grows rapidly, and lives up to 2,000 years (in the Crimea it usually lives less than 100 years as a result of root and stump rot). The light, soft wood is used in the manufacture of furniture and of small carved and turned articles.
Cypresses with columnar and, more rarely, horizontal (with diverging branches) habits of growth are most widespread. Cultivated species include the Monterey cypress (C. macrocarpa), the Bhutan cypress (C. torulosa), the Portuguese cypress (C. lusitanica), the Arizona cypress (C. arizonica), and the mourning cypress (C. funebris).
REFERENCESFlora SSSR, vol. 1. Leningrad, 1934.
Derev’ia i kustarniki SSSR, vol. 1. Moscow-Leningrad, 1949.
T. G. LEONOVA