While strolling through the Botanical Gardens of Jerusalem I came across several impressive Cupressus trees. The most striking species, C. arizonica, displayed multi-colored exfoliating bark. The Arizona Cypress is native to the southwestern United States. The botanical gardens have collections from around the world with a special section for species from North America.
The Arizona Cypress can grow 40- 50′ tall and has dense grayish green needles. This tree makes an excellent wind break and the bark is extremely ornamental. The cones mature 20-24 months after pollination and only open after being exposed to fire. This is an evolutionary trait shared with many Pine trees which allows seeds to grow in bare ground cleared by forest fires. Cupressus sempervirens (Italian Cypress) is more commonly used throughout Israel in afforestation and planned landscapes. C. sempervirens has the classic columnar shape associated with Cypress trees.