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Cypress, Arizona Cupressus arizonica var arizonica

Cypress, Arizona - Cupressus arizonica var arizonica

Native southwestern cypress with soft- textured gray-green foliage and rough shredding gray brown bark. Very drought and heat tolerant. Excellent for windbreaks and erosion control, Christmas trees, or an ornamental. Grows 40'to 50', 25'-30' spread. (zones 7-9)

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Zones 7 - 9 Zones 7 - 9
Hardiness Zones 7 - 9
The Arizona Cypress can be expected to grow in the zones shown in color in the zone map. View Map
Evergreen Evergreen
Type of tree
40' - 50' High 40' - 50' High
Mature Height
The Arizona Cypress grows to be 40' - 50' feet in height.
25' - 30' Spread 25' - 30' Spread
Mature Spread
The Arizona Cypress has a spread of about 25' - 30' at full maturity.
Medium Growth Medium Growth
Growth Rate
This tree grows at a medium growth rate. More about this.
Full Sun Full Sun
This cypress does well in full sun.
Various Soils Various Soils
The Arizona Cypress grows in acidic, alkaline, drought tolerant, loamy, sandy, well drained, wide range soils.
Pyramidal Shape Pyramidal Shape
This cypress has pyramidal shape.

The Arizona Cypress tree is exceptionally tolerant of hot, dry conditions. This makes it an excellent tree for its native habitat, the southwestern United States and Northern Mexico. In these locales it makes an good windbreak, and it is also widely used for soil erosion planting. It is grown as a Christmas tree and used in the landscape as an ornamental.


Native southwestern cypress with aromatic, soft-textured gray-green needles and rough shredding gray brown bark. This evergreen has a dense, cone-shaped crown that tends to be more upright when young and more spreading with age. It is very drought and heat tolerant once it is established. It grows best in sunny, dry sites with well drained soil. It is excellent for windbreaks and erosion control, Christmas trees, and as an ornamental. Grows to 40'-50', 25'-30' spread. (zones 7-9)

Wildlife Value

The seeds of the Arizona Cypress are consumed by squirrels, ground squirrels, and other rodents.


The Arizona Cypress is a native of interior Mexico extending into the southwestern United States where it is the only native cypress. For a major species it was discovered by Euro-Americans rather recently in history. Credit for the discovery goes to E. L. Greene, who made the find in the 1880s. While authorities do not agree on the taxonomy of the Arizona cypress, two varieties are often listed. Cypressus arizonica var. arizonica has thick, fibrous, coarsely shedding, gray brown bark, dull gray-green needles with no resinous exudations. Cypressus arizonica var. glabra has smooth bark exfoliating in papery layers of purple to red, bright blue-green needles with resin glands.


Normal moisture requirements, but with good drought tolerance.


The leaves are gray-green and scale-like, closely overlapping each other and encircling the branchlets.

Flower Color

Flowers are inconspicuous in the spring. Male is pale yellow-green color, female is light green.

Bloom Time


Fruit Description

The fruit is a 3/4"-1" long, 1"-1 1/4" wide, dark reddish brown cone. Cones mature at the end of the second year but persist on the tree for many years.