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CUPRESSUS arizonica 'Blue Ice'

Image of Cupressus arizonica var. glabra 'Blue Ice'

James H. Schutte

Family

Cupressaceae

Botanical Name

CUPRESSUS arizonica var. glabra 'Blue Ice'

Plant Common Name

Arizona Cypress

General Description

Named for the silvery blue color of its foliage, Blue Ice Arizona cypress is a slow-growing, conical evergreen conifer native to the southwestern United States but adaptable to slightly damper climates. The tiny, scale-like, clasping leaves are densely arranged on finely divided branchlets, giving the tree a feathery texture. Small reddish brown cones and smooth mahogany bark add to the year-round display. Cultivar 'Blue Ice' was a chance seedling discovered in a garden in New Zealand in 1960. It wasn't propagated and sold in the horticultural trade until 1984.

This sun-loving tree is both resilient and beautiful, tolerating dry soil, salt, and heat. Soils must be well-draining, not highly alkaline and amended if a compacted heavy clay. It should be protected from cold, dry winds; excessive humidity and wet soils in summer will degrade its vigor. It provides wonderful color contrast in the garden, especially near darker evergreen plants. Its unusual color, aromatic needles, and perfect shape make this Arizona cypress a wonderful specimen tree, privacy hedge or large container plant for a sunny location.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 2

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    5 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    3a, 3b, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Needled or Scaled Evergreen

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    15'-25' / 4.6m - 7.6m

  • Width

    8'-12' / 2.4m - 3.7m

  • Native To

    Southwestern United States

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Pollution, Drought, Salt

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant

  • Habit

    Pyramidal

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    None

  • Fruit Color

    Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Steel Blue

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Gray Green, Steel Blue

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Gray Green, Steel Blue

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Gray Green, Steel Blue

  • Bark Color

    Red, Purple, Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    Yes

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Container, Feature Plant, Foundation, Hedges, Mixed Border, Screening / Wind Break

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No