Trees to 23 m, shrubby where subject to fires; crown conic at first, broadly columnar with age, dense. Bark smooth at first, remaining so or becoming rough, furrowed, fibrous. Branchlets decussate, 1.3--2.3 mm diam. Leaves usually with conspicuous, pitlike, abaxial gland that produces drop of resin, often highly glaucous. Pollen cones 2--5 ´ 2 mm; pollen sacs mostly 4--6. Seed cones globose or oblong, mostly 2--3 cm, gray or brown, often glaucous at first; scales mostly 3--4 pairs, smooth or with scattered resin blisters, sometimes with erect conic umbos to 4 mm, especially on apical scales. Seeds mostly 4--6 mm, light tan to dark brown, not glaucous to heavily glaucous. 2 n = 22. Canyon bottoms, pinyon-juniper woodland, chaparral; 750--2000 m; Ariz., Calif., N.Mex., Tex.; Mexico. Bark texture and foliage features have been used to distinguish geographic varieties or segregate species. Although bark texture may be consistent within populations, over the species as a whole there is complete intergradation between smooth and fibrous barks. Various forms are commonly cultivated and sometimes persistent in the southern United States.
Plant: tree; 5-25 m tall; stems short shoots 1-2 mm diameter, 4-sided; bark partially peeling in thin strips or plates to fibrous and furrowed, especially in age, smooth to furrowed, cherry-red to brown to gray Leaves: dusty green to gray-green, often glaucous, often appearing blue-green, glandular, sometimes inconspicuous, sometimes sparsely to densely resin-covered Cones: POLLEN CONES (2-)3-5 mm long, 2-2.5 mm diameter, more or less cylindric to 4-sided; sporophylls 8-16, opposite; pollen sacs 3-6 per sporophyll. SEED CONES 10-25(-35) mm long, spheric to ovoid, often warty, dull gray to brown, opening upon maturation; scales 4-8; scale projection 0-4 mm long, often conspicuous conic; Fruit: SEEDS (3-)4-8 mm long, light tan to dark brown, slightly warty, usually glaucous; attachment scar sometimes conspicuous REFERENCES: Bartel, Jim A. 1994. Cupressaceae. J. Ariz. - Nev. Acad. Sci. Volume 27, 195-200.
Bartel 1993, FNA 1993
Common Name: Arizona cypress Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Tree General: Trees 5-25 m tall, crown conic when young, but broadly columnar with age, dense; bark, partially peeling in thin strips or plates to fibrous and furrowed, especially in age, smooth to furrowed, cherry-red to brown to gray. Needles: Decussate and scale-like, dusty green to gray green, often glaucous, appearing blue-green, glandular, sometimes inconspicuous, sometimes sparsely to densely resin-covered, needles often clasping the twig in opposite pairs. Cones: Reddish brown to gray, spheric to ovoid, 10-25 mm wide, often warty, opening upon maturation, scales 4-8. Seeds: Light tan to dark brown, slightly warty, 4-8 mm long, usually glaucous, with a sometimes conspicuous attachment scar. Ecology: Found in canyon bottoms and on mountain slopes from 3,000-7,500 ft (914-2286 m); flowers November-March. Notes: In the southwest US, this is probably ssp. arizonica, which can be distinguished by its gray-green (but appearing blue-green) glaucous leaves, which are sparsely resin covered, with seed cones 10-25 mm long. Can be confused with J. deppeana because of the bark, but look around for cones and you'll have no trouble distinguishing between the two. Ethnobotany: Unknown, but a subspecies was used for colds, coughs, for sore chests, kidney problems, and backaches. Etymology: Cupressus comes from the Latin name for the Italian cypress tree, while arizonica means of or from Arizona. Synonyms: Cupressus arizonica Editor: SBuckley, 2010