Arizona Cypress

Arizona Cypress Plant Information

Arizona Cypress grows in the following 6 states:

Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, California, Nevada, Texas

Cupressus arizonica, the Arizona cypress, is a North American species of trees in the cypress family. It is native to the southwestern United States (Arizona, Utah, southwestern New Mexico, and southern California, with a few populations in southern Nevada and in the Chisos Mountains of western Texas), and in Mexico (Coahuila, Chihuahua, Sonora, 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 Jurez and San Pedro Mrtir pine-oak forests of Mexico, where it is found along with Canyon Live Oak and California Fan Palm.

Cupressus arizonica is a coniferous evergreen tree with a conic to ovoid-conic crown. It grows to heights of 10-25 m (32.8-82.0ft), and its trunk diameter reaches 0.5 m (19.7in). The foliage grows in dense sprays, varying from dull gray-green to bright glaucous blue-green. The leaves are scale-like, 2-5mm long, and produced on rounded (not flattened) shoots. The seed cones are globose to oblong, 15-33mm 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 3-5mm long, and release pollen in February-March.
Up to five varieties are distinguished by some botanists, and these are sometimes treated as distinct species:
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' has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

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