The Gymnosperm Database


Trees near Oak Creek outside of Sedona, Arizona [Jeff Bisbee].


Bark of a tree at Merlin May Arboretum, Oregon [Frank Callahan, 2012].


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Conservation status

Cupressus glabra

Sudworth 1910

Common names

Smooth Arizona, smooth, or Arizona cypress (Peattie 1950).

Taxonomic notes


Type: Verde Canyon, Yavapai Co., Arizona. See the "Taxonomic notes" section of Cupressus arizonica for discussion of the relationship between various taxa assigned by some authors to C. arizonica. See the "Taxonomic notes" section of Cupressus for a discussion of the relationship between this and other, closely related Cupressus taxa in northwest Mexico and the adjacent Southwest U.S.

C. nootkatensis in cultivation has spontaneously hybridized with C. glabra. The hybrid is Cupressus x notabilis (A. F. Mitchell) Eckenwalder 2009, with synonyms xCupressocyparis notabilis A. F. Mitchell and xCuprocyparis notabilis (A. F. Mitchell) Farjon.


"A tree, when older, with bark thin and cherry-red, or dark-brown as mahagony, exfoliating in thin plates; foliage like that of the typical variety, only with more prominent glands; seeds 4-5 mm long, bluish pruinose" (Vidakovic 1991). It generally resembles Cup. arizonica, but differs in having smooth reddish bark exfoliating in thin flakes and strips, and in having conspicuously, actively glandular foliage (Farjon 2005).

Distribution and Ecology

USA: Arizona: Coconino, Gila, Maricopa and Yavapai counties, at 1200-1680 m elevation in piñon-juniper woodlands, usually on poor desert soils of silicate origin (Farjon 2005). Hardy to Zone 7 (cold hardiness limit between -17.7°C and -12.2°C) (Bannister and Neuner 2001).

Distribution data from USGS (1999). Points plotted as tree icons represent isolated or approximate locations.

The range is roughly bounded by Sedona, Payson, and the Mazatzal Mountains (Adams et al. 2010; see map). Common associates include Pinus edulis, P. ponderosa subsp. scopulorum, Juniperus deppeana, J. scopulorum, and J. osteosperma (Farjon 2005).

Big tree

Height 21.3 m, dbh 158 cm, in Tonto National Forest (American Forests 2000).







Adams, R. P., J. A. Bartel, D. Thornburg, and A. Allgood. 2010. Geographic variation in the leaf essential oils of Hesperocyparis arizonica and H. glabra. Phytologia 92(3):366-387. Available at

American Forests 2000. The National Register of Big Trees 2000. Washington, DC: American Forests. The big tree register is now available online.

Bartel 2009: described in Adams, R. P., J. A. Bartel and R. A. Price. 2009. A new genus, Hesperocyparis, for the cypresses of the western hemisphere. Phytologia 91(1):160-185.

Sudworth. 1910. A new cypress for Arizona. American Forestry 16: 88-90., courtesy of the Cupressus Conservation Project website.

See also

Adams, R. P. and J. A. Bartel. Geographic variation in Hesperocyparis (Cupressus) arizonica and H. glabra: RAPDs analysis. Phytologia 91(1):244-250.

Bisbee, Jeff. 2006. Photos at the Cupressus Conservation Project website.

Wolf (1948) and Farjon (2005) each provide a detailed account, with illustrations.

Last Modified 2018-01-13