Cupressus arizonica var. glabra-'Carolina Sapphire'
(Developed by Dr. Roland Schoenike and Marvin Gaffney, Clemson University,
In early 1968, these trees was selected form Arizona Cypress growing at Tom
Wright's Christmas Tree Farm in Ward, South Carolina. The trees growing there were produced from
wild seed germinated in 1961. They were observed to have a steely blue color, dense lacy foliage
with tiny yellow flowers and a pleasing aroma; that some describe as a cross between lemon and
mint. The original selections were cloned by Booth Chilcutt of the South Carolina Forestry
Commission and test plantings were made in various areas of the State with promising
results. This clone was registered by the Royal Horticultural Society in England in 1987, as
cupressus arizonica var. glabra, 'Carolina Sapphire'.
The Carolina Sapphire cultivar was brought to Louisiana by Wanda Watkins, through
St. Tammany Parish, in 1991. A small group of plants were obtained, from Marvin Gaffney,
and planted on two tree farms in St. Tammany, one in East Baton Rouge Parish and one in St.
Helena Parish. The St. Tammany Parish plantings were at Bo Jingle Christmas Tree Farm and at
Shady Pond Tree Farm. The Carolina Sapphire has a bright future as a Christmas tree and as a