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Cedrus atlantica

(Atlas cedar)

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Cedrus atlantica, first described by (Stephan Friedrich Ladislaus Endlicher) G.Manetti ex Carrière in 1855 is commonly known as Atlas cedar. It is synonymous with C. libani var. atlantica. Most botanists feel that this species is too far removed geographically from the natural range of C libani to warrant classification is a subspecies.

tumblr_m8y8tjoBdI1qgzqeto1_500Description. Atlas cedar is an evergreen coniferous tree which will grow to a mature height of 125 feet (40 m) high with a trunk of to 6 feet (2 m) in diameter at breast height. Bark on old trees is fissured. Its crown is pyramidal and open, with few branches. Branches ascend strongly and are relatively short. The tree’s leading shoot is erect and bent at the tip. Leaves are silvery bluish or green, usually not longer than 1 inch (2.5 cm), growing between 19 and 28 in a whorl. Cones appear from June to September. Seed cones are cylindrical, with a level or concave top, 2 to 2.8 inches (5 – 7 cm) long, up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) wide, glossy, light brown, maturing in September and October and shedding seeds into the spring. Seeds are 0.48 inch (12 mm) long with a 0.48 to 0.6 inch (12 – 15 mm) long wing.

Cedrus_atlantica
natural range of Cedrus atlantica. ©P.I.Thomas, 2014. Cedrus atlantica, from the website, Threatened Conifers of The World (http://threatenedconifers.rbge.org.uk/taxa/details/1074).

Distribution. This species is native to Morocco and Algeria — the Atlas and Riff Mountains, growing at elevations of 3,200 to 6,500 feet (1,000 – 2,000 m), where it forms monospecific stands.

Attributed from: Vidakovic, Mirko. ©1991. Conifers: morphology and variation. Translated from Croatian by Maja Soljan. Croatia: Graficki Zavod Hrvatske.

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