Belfast Botanic Gardens Tree Archive

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This is one of a series of short articles about trees in the Belfast Botanic Gardens compiled by the Friends group. The tree tag number relates to the black tree maintenance tags, usually fixed on the tree trunk, 2 to 3m above ground level.
Family: Pinaceae
Cedrus atlantica (Endl.) Manetti ex Carriere Glauca group
Blue Atlantic cedar

Black tag 315
54o 34.989N
5o 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 3 species of the genus Cedrus, one of which is the deodar (Cedrus deodara) of which there are several in the Botanic Gardens. The other two are C. atlantica and C. libani (cedar of Lebanon). C. brevifolia (Cyprian cedar) is now included in the species 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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