Floridata Plant Encyclopedia

A Floridata Plant Profile 159 Cupressus glabra

Common Names: smooth cypress, smooth Arizona cypress Family: Cupressaceae (cypress Family)

'Blue Ice' cypress
Cupressus glabra 'Blue Ice'

Description

Smooth cypress is a handsome, steeple-shaped evergreen that can get 30-50 ft (9.1-15.2 m) tall and usually stays only 12-15 ft (3.7-4.6 m) wide. It has compact, beautiful blue-green foliage. The small scale-like leaves are dotted with tiny white flecks that actually are resin glands that produce a turpentine fragrance. The outer bark continually flakes away, revealing the very attractive smooth, cherry-red inner bark. The spherical cones are reddish brown, about an inch in diameter, have 6-8 shield-shaped scales, and remain on the tree for 2 or more years, even after the seeds are shed.

The popular cultivar 'Blue Ice' is even more compact and cone-shaped, and has unique steely-blue foliage. The growing tips of 'Arctic' are white. 'Blue Pyramid' has a slightly weeping shape.

Location

Smooth cypress, Cupressus glabra, grows naturally in the mountains of central-western Arizona. It grows on rocky or gravelly soils in canyons from 3200 to 8700 ft (975-2652 m) above sea level.


Culture

Smooth cypress grows well in almost any soil, acidic to calcareous, so long as it is well drained. It should be staked for the first few years to keep it from falling over. Light: Full sun. Moisture: Smooth cypress is extremely drought tolerant. New transplants should, of course, be watered for the first year. Hardiness: USDA Zones 7 - 10. Propagation: Plants grown from seed can be variable. To maintain characteristics of the parent, propagate from cuttings. These should be taken in summer or fall from 1 or 2 year old growing tips, rooted in sand and given bottom heat. Cuttings should develop roots and be ready for transplanting within 4 to 8 months. (Not your typical begonia!)

Usage

Smooth cypress is an extremely ornamental tree, and a single specimen or small group makes a dramatic statement in the landscape. Smooth cypress is very popular in Australia and New Zealand, where nearly a dozen different cultivars are offered. Planted in a row, smooth cypress trees make a good windbreak and an almost impenetrable screen. In the SW US, smooth cypress is cultivated for Christmas trees.

smooth cypress
smooth cypress branch tip

Features

Some authorities consider smooth cypress to be a variety of the wider-ranging Arizona cypress, C. arizonica, rather than a species of its own. In fact, some of the cultivars of Arizona cypress are no doubt actually selections of smooth cypress.

Steve Christman 12/13/99; updated 4/6/04



Master Plant List

Click here to find plants in our Encyclopedia using the Master Plant List grid. Use this widget to search, sort and filter Floridata's plant database to easily locate Plant Profile pages. Use the dropdown menus to filter the grid to display items matching the selected Plant Type and Feature tags.

Plant Type Tags

tree icon
shrub icon
palm
perennial plant icon
aquatic plant icon
cactus and succulents icon
grass icon
vine icon

Feature Tags

Attracts Birds
Attracts butterflies
Attracts Hummingbirds
Edible Plants
Cutting and Arranging
medicinal
for pots and containers
indoors
shade
drought tolerant plants
grows in wet soils
flowers
ornamental fruits
fall color
foliage plants
evergreen
easy to grow plants
fast growing

Site Search

Use Google to search all of the pages on Floridata including the Plant Profile pages




Cupressus species profiled on Floridata:


Cupressus glabra

( smooth cypress, smooth Arizona cypress )

Cupressus macrocarpa

( Monterey cypress )

Cupressus sempervirens

( Italian cypress, Mediterranean cypress )

Copyright 2015 Floridata.com LLC