An aromatic evergreen shrub or small tree with
gland-dotted, scale-like leaves. Has separate male and female cones and
flowers between February and April. The fruits are globular and have a
shining reddish-brown colour when they mature, in the second year.
Found from sea-level to 1,000 ft on rocky ground, in pine
forest, maquis and on dry slopes. Very common in the Akamas and Akrotiri
Uses and Properties
The fruits contain a bitter tasting mix of tannins,
organic acids and resins and the whole plant is rich in fragrant oil. It
is known for its' flavouring and aromatic properties especially when
used in gin. Medicinally infusions and extracts are used as antiseptics,
stomach tonics, diuretics and in the treatment of cystitis and urinary
infections. Used externally against dermatitis. The wood is very decay
resistant and was used in house building in classical times. Pitch was
also obtained from this plant. This plant could be the "Cedar of the
Wilderness" mentioned in the old testament.