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Italian virginal
MFA# 1981.277


Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge

Any of several evergreen trees from the genus Cupressus. Many trees from related genera, like bald cypress and some cedars, also have been commonly called cypress. True cypresses are native to the Mediterranean region (Cupressus sempervirens) and the Pacific coast of North America. Mediterranean cypresses, still found in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Iran, Crete, and Rhodes, were used in ancient Egypt for monumental doors, furniture, boats, statuary, coffins, boxes and carving (Gale et al 2000). Cypress wood is aromatic with a smooth, close-grain, and reddish-brown color. Currently, cypress trees are often used for landscaping effects while their wood is used for general construction, storage boxes, crates, and millwork.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Cupressus; cyprès (Fr.); ciprés (Esp.); cipreste (Port.); cipresso (It.); Monterey cypress; American cypress; Mediterranean cypress

Resources and Citations

  • R.Gale, P.Gasson, N.Hepper, G.Killen, "Wood" in Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technology, P.Nicholson, I.Shaw (eds.), Cambridge University Press, 2000, p. 334-371.
  • Dictionary of Building Preservation, Ward Bucher, ed., John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York City, 1996
  • Edward Reich, Carlton J. Siegler, Consumer Goods: How to Know and Use Them, American Book Company, New York City, 1937