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Cypress

Cypress

Cypress/Cupressus sempirvirens Essential Oil/France
"Diana's Looking Glass,"---this fitting name
Our English Poet gave this lovely mere,
Set like a sapphire in an emerald frame,
Fair as Lake Nemi in whose waters clear
Are glass'd Italian hills, and skies serene,
Cypress and myrtle groves, and ilex green.
Close to this little Tarn lie valleys fair,
Imperial hills, on which the red-boled pine
Spreads out its fragrant branches on the air,
And tassel'd larches mass'd in stately line,
Bend o'er their shadows in the azure lake,
Which mirrors lovingly both bush and brake.
Beauty makes this her home:---not far away
The Langdales lift their Pikes above the vale,
First of the hills to catch the glimm'ring day,
That newly waken'd, smiles o'er all the dale,
When giant crag, and cliff, and upland lawn,
Blush with the glowing tints of ruddy dawn.
Charles Dent Bell, DIANA'S LOOKING GLASS.
[from Diana's Looking Glass and Other Poems (1894)]

They proceeded by easy stages; and after travelling for some days among the romantic mountains and green vallies of Piedmont, they entered the rich country of Nice. The gay and luxuriant views which now opened upon the travellers as they wound among the hills, appeared like scenes of fairy enchantment, or those produced by the lonely visions of the Poets. While the spiral summits of the mountains exhibited the snowy severity of winter, the pine, the cypress, the olive, and the myrtle shaded their sides with the green tints of spring, and groves of orange, lemon, and citron, spread over their feet the full glow of autumn. As they advanced the scenery became still more diversified; and at length, between the recedingheights, Adeline caught a glimpse of the distant waters of the Mediterranean, fading into the blue and cloudless horizon. She had never till now seen the ocean; and this transient view of it roused her imagination, and made her watch impatiently for a nearer prospect.
Radcliffe, Ann Ward, 1764-1823: The Romance of the Forest (1791)

Description of the Cypress Tree
"A tree 20-30 m in height.
Trunk straight.
Bark thin, smooth and gray for quite a long time, later becoming gray-brown and longitudinally furrowed.
Shoots radiating in all directions, about 1 mm in diameter, round or quadrangular.
Leaves scale-like, decussate, small, ovate, obtuse, dark green, with a dorsal gland in the shape of longitudinal furrow. Flowers appear early in spring. Cones on short stalk, glossy, brown to gray, pendulous, globose to elliptic, 2-3 cm long, composed of 8 to 14 opposite scales, with concave to flat apophysis, with a small central umbo and a point
Seeds 8-20 to each fertile scale, brown, flattened, minute, without resin blisters, narrowly winged.
Cotyledons usually 2" (3).
http://www.botanik.uni-bonn.de/conifers/cu/cup/sempervirens.htm

In a letter to his brother, Theo, in 1899, Van Gogh wrote:
"I am totally preoccupied with the cypress. I would like to create something similar to my sunflower paintings with them. I find it strange that they never have been painted in the way that I see them. They are as beautifully proportioned as an Egyptian obelisk."

Cupressus sempervirens Images
http://www.cuyamaca.net/oh170/Thumbnail_Pages/ Cupressus_sempervirens.asp
excellent set of images
http://www.vincent.nl/?/gallery/paintings/jh1982.htm
Van Gogh Painting-Stunning
http://www.fineartprintsoncanvas.com/printpages/v11.htm
another wonderful image of Cypress by Van Gogh

Uses.
An essential oil is distilled from the shoots. It is used in perfumery and soap making. The leaves contain about 2% essential oil whilst the wood contains about 2.5%. An infusion of the wood is used in footbaths to combat perspiration of the fee]. Wood - fragrant, very hard and durable. A popular wood for building uses, cabinet making and wardrobes, especially since it retains its fragrance, repels moths and is impervious to woodworm.

http://www.ibiblio.org/pfaf/cgi-bin/arr_html?Cupressus+sempervirens

http://ars-genome.cornell.edu:80/cgi-bin/WebAce/webace?seme=2&db=ethnobotdb&class=Taxon&object=Cupressus%20sempervirens
country by country ethnobotanical uses
Cypress Essential/Cupressus sempervirensOil/France
Physical description: pale yellow, pale olive-greenish or almost colorless mobile liquid
Olfactory description: fresh, green, resinous topnote. Round soft, sweet balsamic-woody bouquet gently exerts its influence as the topnote fades. There is a distinct note of rich resinous sun warmed pine cones that appears deep in the dryout. The olfactory receptors are cooled and soothed by the odor. A nice aromatic nasal air-conditioner
Analysis of Cypress Essential Oil/Grown and distilled in South Francealpha pinene 54.50 Fresh Sweet Pine Earthy Woody sabinene 1.08
Woody Terpene Citrus Pine With Spice Nuance
beta pinene 1.07
Sweet Fresh Pine Woody Hay Green
myrcene 2.23
Fresh Peppery Terpy Spicy Balsam Plastic
delta-3-carene 13.36
gamma terpinene 0.53
Oily Woody Terpy Lemon/lime Tropical Herbal
terpinolene 2.30
Fresh Woody Sweet Pine Citrus
terpinene-4-ol 0.84
Pepper Woody Earth Musty Sweet
bornyl acetate 0.16
Pine Woody Fresh Pine Needles
a-terpenyl acetate 2.30
Fresh Sweet Lilac Floral
beta-caryophyllene 0.95 Sweet Woody Spice Clove Dry

http://www.2020site.org/trees/cypress.html
excellent page on lore and legends of cypress
http://www.fao.org/docrep/X0453E/X0453e06.htm conifers in human culture

`Cascini and other villages occupy the pinnacles and abutments of these hills, over which is seen, at intervals, the ethereal mountain line, hoary with snow and intersected by clouds. The valley below is covered with cypress groves, whose obeliskine forms of intense green pierce the gray shadow of the wintry hills that overhang them. The cypresses, too, of the garden, form a magnificent foreground of accumulated verdure: pyramids of dark green shining cones, rising out of a mass, between which are cut, like caverns, recesses conducting into walks.' Tuckerman, Henry T. (Henry Theodore), 1813-1871: The Italian Sketch Book . . . By an American (1835)

In the orchard a Sufi inclined his face Sufi fashion upon his knee,
and sank deeply into mystical absorption.
An rude man nearby became annoyed: "Why are you sleeping?" he exclaimed.
Look at the vines, behold the trees and the signs of God's mercy.
Pay attention to the Lord's command:
Look ye and turn your face toward these signs of His mercy."
The Sufi replied, "O heedless one, the true signs are within the heart:
that which is external is only the sign of the signs."
The real orchard and vineyards are within the very essence of the soul:
the reflection upon that which is external is like a reflection in running water.
In the water only a reflected image of the orchard quivers with the water's subtle movement.
The real orchards and fruit flourish within the heart:
the reflection of their beauty falls upon the water and earth of this world.
If this world were not merely the reflection of that delectable cypress, the heart of the saint,
then God would not have called it the abode of deception.
Oh happy is the one who has died before death,
for he has become acquainted with the origin of this vineyard.
Rumi-Masnavi [IV, 1358-66;72]
Translated by Camille and Kabir Helminski