Cupressus arizonica

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Cupressus arizonica
Cup glabra foliage.jpg
Cupressus arizonica var. glabra (Smooth Arizona Cypress) foliage
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales
Family: Cupressaceae
Genus: Cupressus
Species: C. arizonica
Binomial name
Cupressus arizonica
Cupressus arizonica range map 1.png
Natural range of Cupressus arizonica

Cupressus arizonica, the Arizona cypress, is a species of cypress native to the southwest of North America, Arizona, southwest New Mexico, southern California, the Chisos Mountains of west Texas, and in Mexico in Coahuila, Chihuahua, Durango, Tamaulipas, Zacatecas and northern Baja California. In the wild, the species is often found in small, scattered populations, not necessarily in large forests. An example occurrence is within the Sierra Juárez and San Pedro Mártir pine-oak forests of Mexico,[1] where it is found along with Canyon Live Oak and California Fan Palm.


It is a medium-sized coniferous evergreen tree with a conic to ovoid-conic crown. It grows to heights of 10–25 m (32.8-82.0 ft), and its trunk diameter reaches 0.5 m (19.7 in). The foliage grows in dense sprays, varying from dull gray-green to bright glaucous blue-green in color. The leaves are scale-like, 2–5 mm long, and produced on rounded (not flattened) shoots. The seed cones are globose to oblong, 15–33 mm long, with 6 or 8 (rarely 4 or 10) scales, green at first, maturing gray or gray-brown about 20–24 months after pollination. The cones remain closed for many years, only opening after the parent tree is killed in a wildfire, thereby allowing the seeds to colonize the bare ground exposed by the fire. The male cones are 3–5 mm long, and release pollen in February–March.


There are five varieties, treated as distinct species by some botanists:


Arizona Cypress, particularly the strongly glaucous var. glabra, is widely cultivated as an ornamental tree. Unlike Monterey Cypress, it has proved highly resistant to cypress canker, caused by the fungus Seiridium cardinale, and growth is reliable where this disease is prevalent.

The cultivar 'Pyramidalis'[2] has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.


  1. ^ National Geographic. 2001
  2. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Cupressus arizonica 'Blue Ice'". Retrieved 20 July 2013. 

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