Cosmic Cypress lives on the California coast near its very tall cousins the Redwoods, Sequoias and Thuja. Cosmic cypress is fascinated by the nighttime sky and loves to make wishes on shooting stars. One big wish is to get as close as possible to the stars, but being a smaller tree makes it seem impossible. Cypress uses a telescope to peer through the trees in order to create detailed maps of the galaxy. Little field mice scurry about collecting tiny pinecones and stones to help Cypress imagine the sky on the ground below. The name Cosmic Cypress was inspired by its redwood cousin Hyperion, which is earth’s tallest living tree. In Greek mythology, Hyperion is the Titan God of Light who fathered Helios (sun), Selene (moon) and Eos (dawn).
Cosmic Cypress’s Family: Cosmic Cypress, Cupressus sempervirens, is a medium-sized evergreen conifer with scale-like leaves. It can grow to be 115 ft tall and live to be a thousand years old. The genus name Cupressus dates back to classical antiquity. The Greeks associated cypress trees with Cyparrissus, a young boy who was turned into a cypress tree by Apollo (god of sunlight, truth and prophecy) so he could grieve forever over the loss of his beloved deer. The word sempervirens is Latin for “always green.” The Cupressus genus is split between “New World” cypress and “Old World” cypress. The Cupressaceae family once lived together on the supercontinent of Pangea 200 million years ago, but when Pangea fractured, this rugged and tenacious Cypress family drifted to the four corners of the world.
Growing Climate: Coastal Climates
- Species: Cupressus sempervirens (Mediterranean Cypress)
- Genus: Cupressus (Cypress)
- Family: Cupressaceae (Cypress Family)
Cosmic Cypress, Cupressus sempervirens, is the “type species” for the Cupressus genus and the Cupressaceae family, so Cosmic Cypress sets the example that other trees in its line follow. The cypress family, Cupressaceae, is a large family that includes cypress, redwood, sugi, arborvitae, juniper etc. Due to its size (133 species), the Cypress family is divided into seven subfamilies. Cosmic Cypress belongs to the subfamily Cupressoideae, which includes several members commonly called “cedars.” Cedars are members of the Pine family and have needle-like leaves. This confusion originally occurred because Cypress and Pine (Cedar) are all aromatic trees.
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Title: Cosmic Cypress – A Gigantic Adventure
Storyline: Cosmic Cypress invites Truthful Tea Leaf and Blissful Bodhi to the Cypress family reunion on the coast of California. When the Forest Friends arrive, they are surrounded by gigantic trees. Cosmic Cypress introduces them to the redwood Hyperion, the tallest tree in the world. They also meet a giant sequoia, the largest living tree. They bump into a cypress from Chile, the second oldest living tree, surrounded by a trio of trees that are each over 2500 years old! Mice scurry about, cleaning up the forest floor. A drum invites everyone to gather at the base of Hyperion. A 360 ft. long scroll containing a list of all the members of the Cypress family is presented. Sugi, the national tree of Japan, is honored for bringing people and nature together. Cosmic Cypress asks Tea Leaf and Bodhi if they would like to climb a redwood tree. Looking down, they see the reunion as one big forest. As they climb higher, the Wise Owl welcomes them. When they reach the top, they look up to the stars. A shooting star passes by and they each make a wish.
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