Carolina Sapphire is a
registered cultivar of Arizona cypress. The tree has a natural Christmas
tree shape and responds well to cultural practices.
shaping allows the toughening of branches and makes them stronger for
holding ornaments. The tree has a natural blue-green color and a
pleasing citrus-like aroma. The leaves are actually small scales lying
along the branch surface.
There are about 30
cultivars of Arizona cypress. Carolina Sapphire
is the most commercially significant cultivar. It was selected by Dr.
Roland Schoenike (Professor with the Clemson University Forestry
Department) and Marvin Gaffney (Director of Nurseries for the South
Carolina Forestry Commission) in 1968 from trees growing on Tom Wright's
Tree Farm in Ward, South Carolina. The trees growing at Wright's were
produced from germinated wild seed Schoenike had collected from select
trees in the Southwest in 1961. After several years of producing new
trees as rooted cuttings the unique characteristics of these plants
qualified them for registration by the Royal Horticultural Society (the
international authority for the registration of conifer names) as a
registered cultivar in 1987.