Cupressus arizonica, the Arizona Cypress, is a species of cypress native to the southwest of North America, in the United States in Arizona, southwest New Mexico, southern California, and 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 in large forests.
It is a medium-sized evergreen tree with a conic to ovoid-conic crown. It grows to heights of 10-25 m, and its trunk diameter reaches 0.5 m. 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:
secure. Southern Arizona, southwest New Mexico, south to Durango and Tamaulipas.
secure. Central Arizona.