Cuppressus arizonica var. glabra 'Blue Ice' - 'Blue Ice' Arizona Cypress
Family - Cupressaceae
Size - This conifer will go to a height of about 30 feet, maybe more, with a spread of about 1/4th the height, or roughly 8 to 10 feet. Is a fast grower, averages about 2 to 3 feet per year.
Foliage- Evergreen scales flattened to form branchlets, the scales are tightly pressed against the stem. Color is a rich silver-blue/powdery-blue.
Bark- Shiny, reddish brown bark, exfoliates. Trees are bleeders, they bruise easily and have oozing sap. The evergreen scent is quite nice and the foliage holds up well for craft uses.
Pests and Diseases - None so far, seems quite problem free yet Dirr notes that the species is subject to canker in the Southeast and not long lived.
Landscape Use - Dramatic focal point, very upright in habit and the color stands out a mile away. I have used it in conjunction with other conifers in a large conifer display planting and the effect with the other green and gold mixtures is dramatic, a real eye catcher. May be too dramatic in the residential site unless toned down with other evergreens in it's foreground. Quite different from Carolina Sapphire. Carolina Sapphire is much broader and loose in habit. Color not as silvery. Not near as attractive in my opinion.
Performance - 10 So far this has been a good plant, and where needed it can provide a striking upright contrast in the landscape. It can have a useful purpose. I have noticed no problems to this point (May 2003), but it hasn't been long enough to truly evaluate it. Dirr mentions that it is not a long lived plant for the Southeast, so we might be talking in the terms of 20 years at best before problems begin to show up. Is known to be hardy to 5 F. Prefers hot dry conditions, well drained soil, full sun. Zones 7 to 9. More common of a plant in the dry conditions of the southwest but is becoming more well known through the southeast.