Belfast Botanic Gardens Tree Archive

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This series of short articles about trees in the Belfast Botanic Gardens is compiled by members of the Friends group and Gardens staff. We aim to build up to a comprehensive archive of trees in Belfast Botanic Gardens. Each article illustrates a tree growing in Belfast Botanic Gardens together with information from a range of sources. Where possible we will give the tree tag number - these are the small aluminium discs, usually fixed on the tree trunk, 2 to 3m above ground level.
Cedrus atlantica 'Glauca'
Blue cedar

Tag 70
54 deg 34.989N
5 deg 56.126W
The blue cedar is a form of the Atlas cedar ( C. atlantica) from the Atlas mountain in Algeria and Morocco. It was introduced in about 1840. The blue form is one of the most spectacular blue conifers and was awarded the RHS First Class Certificate in 1972 and the Award of Garden Merit in 1984. There are 4 species of the genus Cedrus, one of which is the deodar (Cedrus deodara) of which there are several in the Botanic Gardens. The other three are C. atlantica, C. libani (cedar of Lebanon) and C. brevifolia (Cyprian cedar). Some authors consider these three to be geographical sub-species of C. libani. The cedars have a distinctive leaf arrangement. On one-year old stems, the leaves are arranged in a spiral on the stem, but in older twigs and branches all the leaves are in bunches on short stubby shoots. This arrangement is also seen in Ginkgo and the Larches ( Larix sp). The cones of cedars break up and shed their seeds while still attached to the branches so are seldom seen on the ground unlike the cones of pine trees
Cedrus atlantica Glauca in Belfast Botanic Gardens

Cedrus atlantica Glauca foliage

Cedrus atlantica Glauca in Belfast Botanic Gardens Cedrus atlantica Glauca needle arrangement
Cedrus atlantica cones Cedrus atlantica Glauca bark
Cedrus atlantica young and old cones. Photo from Mount Stewart garden (National Trust) Cedrus atlantica Glauca bark
Photos taken in Belfast Botanic Gardens in 2009 and 2010. Copyright: Friends of Belfast Botanic Gardens.

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