Blue Atlas cedar (Cedrus atlantica Glauca) - trunk close up - October 2017
A blue Atlas cedar tree in the St Thomas pleasure grounds of Exeter, UK. === This is an evergreen tree, keeping its foliage year-round. This tree grows at a slow rate, with height increases of less than 12" per year. The Atlas Cedar (Cedrus atlantica) is a large coniferous tree of the cedrus genus and is native to the Atlas Mountains of north Africa. It is conical in shape when younger and is a more open shape when mature. It grows to 40m in height. The bark is silvery grey with deep cracks. The leaves of the Atlas cedar are 2.5cm long, pointed, usually 4 sided and dark green to glaucous blue in colour. The female cones are 6-10cm long, barrel-shaped, green when young, becoming brown as they mature. The Atlas Cedar forms forests on mountain sides at altitudes from 1,370 to 2,200 m, often in pure forests or mixed with the Algerian Fir (Abies numidica), Juniperus oxycedrus, the Holm Oak (Quercus ilex), and Acer opalus. These forests also provide habitats for the endangered Barbary Macaque (Macaca sylvanus), a primate that had a much wider distribution during prehistoric times in northern Morocco and Algeria. Cedrus atlantica is commonly cultivated as an ornamental tree in temperate areas. In gardens, glaucous forms of the trees are often planted as ornamentals, distinguished as the Glauca Group, a cultivar group of the tree. Erect, pendulous, golden-leaf forms also exist in cultivation, though most cultivars have blue leaves. It is useful in cultivation because it is more tolerant of heat and drought than most other conifers. It is used as a street tree such as in Christmas Tree Lane in Altadena, California. Many, yet far from all, of the cultivated Atlas Cedars have glaucous (bluish) foliage, more downy shoots, and have more leaves in each whorl; the young trees in cultivation usually have more ascending branches than many Atlas Cedars. Cedar plantations, mainly with the Atlas Cedar, have been created in France for timber production. The Atlas cedar was introduced into this country in 1845. It is named after the Atlas Mountains in northwest Africa, where you can find the tree in its natural habitat. ===ENDANGERED=== Scientific classification Kingdom: Plantae Division: Pinophyta Class: Pinopsida Order: Pinales Family: Pinaceae Genus: Cedrus Species: C. atlantica Binomial name Cedrus atlantica
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