NEWS

Cyprus cyclamen is island’s natural choice

NICOSIA (AP) – The sweet-scented Cyprus cyclamen has been officially designated the island’s national plant and the golden oak was chosen as the national tree, a government official said yesterday. «The issue had been pending for the past 15 years. Now we agreed and it’s settled,» forestry official Takis Tsindidis said. The official decision was made by the government on Wednesday and was done for historic, ecological and tourism reasons, Tsindidis said. The white, heart-shaped flower – chosen from at least 140 native plants – fulfilled the prerequisites, including not being used by any other country. Designating a national tree «gave us some trouble,» Tsindidis said, despite having only two choices – the cedar and the golden oak. The cedar was rejected, Tsindidis said, because it was used by Lebanon.