Forest cultivation: Atlas Cedar

Forest cultivation: Atlas Cedar

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Classification, origin and diffusion

Division: Spermatophyta
Subdivision: Gymnospermae
Class: Coniferae
Family: Pinaceae

Cedrus atlantica (Atlas or African Cedar) is native to Morocco and Algeria. Widespread in the Atlas mountain range, where it is located in the cooler slopes in the north from 1,500 to 2,200 meters. Introduced in Europe in the mid-nineteenth century, it is often found in parks especially in the glauca variety, very ornamental.

Atlas Cedar (photo

Atlas Cedar var. glauca - Agricultural Technical Institute Florence (website photo)

Trunk of Cedrus atlantica - Botanical Garden of Florence (photo website)

General characteristics

Size and bearing
In its spontaneous state it can reach 45 meters in height, while in cultivation it generally does not exceed 30 meters. Conical habit. Hair erect, sparse and pyramidal, expanded with age.
Trunk and bark
The trunk is straight, cylindrical, with gray-brown bark, cracked and cracked.
They are needle-like, evergreen and last two or three years. Those of the macroblasts are single and spiral inserted around the branch, while those of the brachiblasts are gathered in tufts of 20-45 needles. The needles are 1.5 to 2.5 cm long and shorter than those of the Lebanese Cedar, stiff and pungent.
Reproductive structures
The cones appear in autumn: the male ones, first yellowish and then brown, are 3-4 centimeters long, erect and fall after having released the pollen; the female ones, just over a centimeter long and greenish in color, take two years to transform themselves into erect, barrel-shaped, brown pine cones that disintegrate when they mature.


Like the other species of Cedar, Il Cedro dellAtlante provides a precious wood, which is durable and fragrant and is used for constructions, furniture, sculptures and cabinet-making works; the plants are grown for ornamentation above all in the glauca variety with silver gray leaves.

Video: Motocycle travel Morocco, Middle Atlas Cedar forest. (August 2022).