The cypress was regarded as a Scared Tree by many people. Thanks to its longevity and evergreen leaves, the cypress -- Thuja -- was called the Tree of Life. The Ancient Greeks and Romans associated it with Underworld deities. It was the tree of the regions below, linked with the worship of Pluto and for this reason, planted in graveyards. In ancient China it was believed that longevity could be obtained by eating cypress seeds, because they were rich in yang substances. Thuja was introduced to France from Canada in the reign of Francis I of France, and it has now an honoured place in most of our gardens and shrubberies.