Old Persian cypress accessions, a rich and unique genetic resource for common cypress (Cupressus sempervirens L.) in the world
The genus Cupressus is largely distributed in the Mediterranean basin, Asia and North America. Natural stands of common or Italian cypress (Cupressus sempervirens L.) are found in Persia (modern Iran), Syria, Cyprus, Turkey and Greece. Common cypress was favored in all Mediterranean countries by human at the time of ancient civilization. In Ancient Persia, cypress with the name Sarv was greatly appreciated and praised and it is believed that Monoocher-e-Pishdadi or Zoroaster was the first person who planted cypress trees in arid and semi-arid regions of ancient Persia. Some old accessions of cypress are found in Iran particularly in Yazd, Kerman and Fars provinces. Abarkuh cypress (ca. 4000 years) in Yazd province is considered the oldest cypress worldwide. Some of these old Iranian cypress accessions are not properly protected and could be considered as endangered. Thus, the aim of this review paper is to focus on this matter and to offer some approaches for better conservation of these invaluable genetic resources across the country. Our field observations and photography indicate that some of these old trees greatly suffer from successive droughts during the recent decades and emergency protection and proper maintenance practices are required.
Farahmand, H. and Karimi, H.R. (2018). Old Persian cypress accessions, a rich and unique genetic resource for common cypress (Cupressus sempervirens L.) in the world. Acta Hortic. 1190, 113-118
cypress, conservation, Iran