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Plant Profile: Blue Atlas Cedar (Cedrus atlantica ‘Glauca’)

Like most conifers, blue Atlas cedar is evergreen and produces cones. It is a tall handsome tree native to the Atlas Mountains of Algeria and Morocco and closely related to Cedar of Lebanon, of biblical fame. As the common name suggests, the needles are a blue-green, making it an especially desirable tree in the winter garden. The limbs are open and almost horizontal, the trunk is vertical, and the form conical or pyramidal, even when young Blue Atlas cedar is more drought and heat tolerant than other conifers and is long lived. It is also tolerant of pollution but not wind. Other cultivars of this cedar are also available, most notably, ‘Glauca Pendula’ which is weeping and works well in rock gardens or is staked and made into an umbrella-shaped form.

Weeping form

Type: Evergreen conifer

Outstanding Feature: Blue needles; branching habit; persistent barrel shaped cones taking two years to mature

Form: Pyramidal or conical when young becoming flat topped when mature

Growth Rate: fast when young; slow when mature

Bloom: Male cones erect and 2-3” long

Size: 40-60’ H x 10-20’ W

Light: Full sun

Soil: Average, well-drained

Hardiness: Zones 6-9

Care: Low maintenance

Pests and Diseases: None of significance

Propagation: Cultivars must be grafted; species by seed.

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