Graveyard cypress trees - Cupressus sempervirens

 By for the most common tree species in European cemeteries is the Mediterranean Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens).  As a result it comes as no surprise that one of this tree species common names is "graveyard cypress".  The connection between these tall upright Cypress trees (fastigiate crown) and graveyards is not a new.  For several thousand years the Mediterranean cypress has been a symbol of mourning in the classical antiquity (Greece and Rome) and more recently in the Muslim world and in Europe.  There are several factors that possibly contributed to this.  One being the trees longevity, with it not being uncommon for the tree to live for 1,000 years.  Another factor being the tall narrow shape as if the tree were pointing heavenward or as if it were standing guard over the tombs of the departed.  The images in this post are from a cemetery in Spain.

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