Scientific Name: Cedrus brevifolia
The cedar of Cyprus is characterized as an evergreen resin tree that can reach up to 30m in height. Consists of small greenish-needle leaves and brown and red male and female cones respectively.
Its natural spreading area is confined to the wider area of Tripylon (Cedar Valley) and the Black Cliffs in the Paphos Forest, while some clusters meet northwest of the Kykkou Monastery and Tsakkistra Monastery. It mainly develops on stony slopes with diabasic rocks and at an altitude between 900-1400m.
The flowering season extends from September to October while the fruit appears conical and brown in color.
Characteristics – Properties
Cyprus cedar is considered a long-lived plant since it can reach the age of 500 years and its wood is characterized by high resistance to rot and insect and fungal infections. Because of this, many wood carvings, furniture and wooden structures preserved from earlier years have cedar wood as their raw material, while the whole plant is used as an ornamental and Christmas tree.
Historical references to Cypriot cedar are found in ancient texts by Theophrastus and Pliny who characterize it as a very important forest tree of the time, while cedar references are often found in the Bible as well.
Endemism – Protection
It’s one of the four species of cedar that can be found worldwide and is endemic to Cyprus. This species is included in the “Cyprus Red Book” and its designation as a “vulnerable species” makes it imperative to protect it. Today, although the Cypriot cedar is not being harvested, climate change and forest fires are still contemporary threats to the native cedar populations. Thus, the natural spreading areas of the species have been designated as “Nature Conservation Areas” and have been included in the European Natura 2000 Natural Area Network. In addition to the establishment of a gene bank, the Department of Forests has also set up fire protection systems and surveillance plans to protect the cedar population.
- Τσιντίδης, Τ., Χατζήκυριάκου, Γ., Χριστοδούλου, Χ. (2002). Δέντρα και Θάμνοι στην Κύπρο. Λευκωσία: Ίδρυμα Α.Γ. Λεβέντη – Φιλοδασικός Σύνδεσμος Κύπρου.
- Τσιντίδης, Τ., Χριστοδούλου, Χ., Δεληπέτρου, Π., Γεωργίου, Κ., (2007). Το κόκκινο βιβλίο της χλωρίδας της Κύπρου. Λευκωσία: Φιλοδασικός Σύνδεσμος Κύπρου
- Τσιντίδης, Τ., (1995): Τα ενδημικά φυτά της Κύπρου. Λευκωσία: Τράπεζα Κύπρου – Παγκύπρια Ένωση Δασολόγων.