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Cedrus atlantica

Cedrus atlantica
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Product Information

Scientific name: Cedrus atlantica(Endlicher) Manetti ex Carrière  1855 

Synonyms:Abies atlantica (Endl.) Lindl. & Gordon, Cedrus africana Gordon ex Knight, Cedrus argentea Renou, Cedrus libani subsp. atlantica (Endl.) Batt. & Trab., Cedrus libani var. atlantica (Endl.) Hook.f., Cedrus libanitica subsp. atlantica (Endl.) O.Schwarz, Cedrus libanotica subsp. atlantica (Endl.) Jahand. & Maire, Pinus atlantica Endl.

Common names: Atlas cedar, Cèdre de l'Atlas (French)



Tree to 30(-40) m tall or dwarfed at the alpine timberline, with trunk to 1.5(-2) m in diameter. Bark dark grayish brown, breaking up into vertically aligned, scaly blocks. Crown remaining conical in forest-grown trees but often broadening and flattening markedly with age in isolation, with long horizontal branches bearing horizontal or rising side branches. Young long shoots hairless or densely hairy with short, dark hairs. Winter buds 2-3 mm long, usually not conspicuously resinous. Needles in tufts of 20-35(-45) on short shoots, silvery bluish or green with wax, (1-)1.5-2.5 cm long (to 4 cm on long shoots), with a short point. Pollen cones 3-4 cm long, red. Seed cones 5-8 cm long, 3-6 cm across, light green to grayish green with purplish highlights before maturity, ripening brown, broadly rounded, flat, indented, or with a central bump at the tip. Seed scales 2-3.5 cm long, 2.5-4 cm wide, with rusty hairs on the hidden lower surface. Seed body (8-)10-12 mm long, the wing 10-15 mm longer.

Atlas and Rif Mountains of Morocco and Algeria; 1,000-2,000(-2,600) m.


Conservation Status

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered

(Cedrus atlantica has an estimated extent of occurrence greater than 20,000 km2. Its total actual area of occupancy (AOO) is estimated to be between 1,300 and 1,500 km2 (Terrab et al. 2008, Linares et al. 2011) and there are seven main locations. Range wide declines of up to 75% in area of occupancy are estimated to have occurred between 1940 and 1982. Recent droughts have led to further declines in many parts of its range and it is likely that they will continue if the regional climate continues to become more arid. Outbreaks of pests and diseases have exacerbated the situation. Without proper control measures in place these negative effects are likely to continue.  The decline over the last 50 years is sufficient to warrant an assessment of Endangered under the criteria for A2 (three generations is 90 years))



Farjon, A. (2010). A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.

Eckenwalder, J.E. (2009) Conifers of the World: The Complete Reference. Timber Press, Portland.

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. Cambridge, UK /Gland, Switzerland


Copyright © Aljos Farjon, James E. Eckenwalder, IUCN, Conifers Garden. All rights reserved.

Product CodeCEDWGXL866

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