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Cupressus arizonica var. glabra

Cupressus arizonica var. glabra - Smooth Arizona cypress
  • Cupressus arizonica var. glabra - Smooth Arizona cypress - Click to enlarge
  • Cupressus arizonica var. glabra - Smooth Arizona cypress - Click to enlarge


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Product Information

Scientific name: Cupressus arizonica var. glabra (Sudworth) E. Little  1966

Synonyms: Callitropsis glabra (Sudw.) Carrière, Cupressus arizonica subsp. glabra (Sudw.) A.E.Murray, Cupressus glabra Sudw., Hesperocyparis glabra (Sudw.) Bartel, Neocupressus arizonica var. glabra (Sudw.) de Laub

Common names: Smooth Arizona cypress, Smooth cypress



Tree to 28 m tall, with trunk to 2 m in diameter. Bark of trunk smooth and flaking, red or reddish brown. Crown dense, conical, broadening with age. Branchlets four-sided, 1.3-2.3 mm in diameter, branching from all four rows of leaves. Scale leaves on branchlets 1-2 mm long, dark green or gray-green with wax, the edges minutely toothed, resin glands on nearly all leaves, usually active. Pollen cones 2-5 mm long, about 2 mm wide, with (4-)5-8(-10) pairs of pollen scales, each with (three or) four to six pollen sacs. Seed cones spherical or a little elongated, 2-2.5(-3.2) cm long, gray or brown at maturity, often waxy before this, with three or four (to six) pairs of seed scales, each usually with a strong conical point on the face, especially on the upper scales, the surface otherwise smooth or warty. Seeds (5-)8-15(-20) per scale, (3-)4-5(-8) mm long, light to dark brown, sometimes with a thin to dense waxy coating or with resin pockets, or both. Cotyledons three to five (or six).

Central Arizona (Coconino, Gila, Maricopa and Yavapai Co.); 750-2,500 m.


Conservation Status

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened

Despite the abundance of individuals and no evidence of decline, this variety has a small extent of occurrence well within the threshold for Endangered; its area of occupancy and number of locations also fall within these limits. It could become threatened if fires became more destructive in future, so Near Threatened seems to be an appropriate category.

In Pinyon-Juniper woodland with Pinus edulis, Pinus ponderosa, Juniperus deppeana, Juniperus scopulorum, Juniperus osteosperma; common in ravines or canyons among sandstone, slate or granite rock or on rocky slopes.

Probably the most numerous form of the species in the U.S.A., Cupressus arizonica var. glabra is not at risk of extinction. This does not mean that its populations are not susceptible to fire, grazing by livestock and possibly other hazards such as alterations in groundwater tables. Proper management of these factors, while allowing for natural processes to take their course, is required. This is commonly the form used in cultivation.

Proper fire management, allowing fires to set off regeneration but not to destroy sub-populations, is the most important issue.



  • Farjon, A. (2010). A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.
  • Eckenwalder, J.E. (2009) Conifers of the World: The Complete Reference. Timber Press, Portland.
  • IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. Cambridge, UK /Gland, Switzerland

Copyright © Aljos Farjon, James E. Eckenwalder, IUCN, Conifers Garden. All rights reserved.

Product CodeCUPYLN6169
Weight1.5 kg
Height50 - 60 cm

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