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CEDRUS atlantica

Image of Cedrus atlantica

Gerald L. Klingaman

Family

Pinaceae

Botanical Name

CEDRUS atlantica

Plant Common Name

Atlantic Cedar

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

Noble, majestic and impressive in form and stature, the Atlas cedar is one of the most heat and drought tolerant true cedar species. An evergreen tree native to the Atlas Mountains of extreme northwestern Africa, the tree in youth is pyramid-like with few branches but becomes a massive, spreading-branched specimen with age.

The needles emerge each spring in tufted whorls atop short nubs on the thin branches, first light green and becoming darker green. The male and female cones appear on the same tree, at different times of year. Male cones shed yellow pollen in the autumn and are finger-like in shape. The female cones, which take two years to mature, are egg-shaped and turn from blue-green to lavender-brown in color. The female cones are produced only on more mature plants.

Grow Atlas cedar in full sun in any moist, average to well-draining soil. This tree must be given ample room to grow and reach its most beautiful and fullest landscape potential. Grow it as a specimen in a spacious lawn in a park, cemetery or campus. It is no less than glorious when its silhouette is reflected in the still waters of a lake or pond. Selection 'Aurea' has new needles that are yellow-green, and 'Pendula' is a graceful weeping branch form of an upright tree.

Form glauca, the blue Atlas ceder (Glauca Group), is by far more revered and common ornamentally with its steel-blue or blue-gray needles.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 6

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    6 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Tree

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    40'-130' / 12.2m - 39.6m (50)

  • Width

    30'-40' / 9.1m - 12.2m

  • Bloom Time

    Fall

  • Native To

    Northern Africa

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Spreading

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    Tan

  • Fruit Color

    Green, Purple, Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark Green

  • Bark Color

    Gray, Silver

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    Yes

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    Yes

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Feature Plant

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No