Cypress of Abarkuh: The World's Oldest Cypress
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Cypress of Abarkuh, in Yazd desert, is a popular symbol of “life and beauty” and one of the wonders across the world.
The 4,500 year-old cypress is Iran's oldest living organism and the second oldest living organism of the world. The oldest cypress of Abarkuh or Abarqu which is also known as “Parsik” is the main touristic destination in the city.
The botanical specimen of the tree is Zarbin Cypress and it is a slow-growing, softwood, evergreen, cone tree with cone flowers in lime color which bloom in mid-spring. The outer sheath and bark slots of the tree trunks form a network of deeply wrinkled slots.
Trees, specially the cypress trees are symbol of life and freedom in Iranian heritage and decorated many reliefs.
Cypress of Abarkuh was the symbol of Ahura Mazda (God in Zoroastrianism Faith) in ancient Iran and its planting back to Zoroaster prophet and it’s mentioned as Zoroaster tree in Iranian myths.
Although the tree is known to date at least 5,000 years, scientists from Japan and Russia have estimated its age to 8000 years and Russian scientist have estimated its age between 4,000 to 4,500 years.
Although old cypress of Abarkuh is not in its natural habitat, it enjoys relatively good living conditions which is provided by hot and temperate climate, adequate water and a seven month opportunities for growth each year.
The Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization of Yazd Province has initiated preservation measures like pesticide and opening of the surrounding areas to preserve the historical cypress tree.