Cedrus atlantica (Glauca Group) 'Glauca Pendula'

Common Name: blue atlas cedar 
Type: Needled evergreen
Family: Pinaceae
Zone: 6 to 7
Height: 3.00 to 12.00 feet
Spread: 3.00 to 12.00 feet
Bloom Time: Non-flowering
Bloom Description: Non-flowering
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Leaf: Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Drought


Best grown in deep, well-drained, acidic loams in full sun. Drought tolerant once established. Tolerant of hot and humid St. Louis summers. Not reliably winter hardy throughout the St. Louis area where it should be planted in a protected location.

Habit and height can be controlled by how the central leader is trained. If supported, the central leader will slowly (one foot per year) grow upward. If unsupported, the central leader will cascade downward. Central leaders can be supported to a predetermined height (as 10’) and then allowed to cascade.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Cedrus atlantica, commonly called atlas cedar, is an evergreen conifer that is native to the Atlas Mountains in northern Africa (Morocco and Algeria). It is one of the true cedars. It basically grows over time to 40-60’ (infrequently to 120’) tall. Growing habit is usually loose pyramidal when young, becoming more flat-topped with long spreading branches with age. Needles (to 1” long) are curved toward the tip and appear in tufted clusters. Young shoots are downy. Cylindrical cones (to 3” long). Needles of this tree range in color, both in the wild and in seedbeds, from dark green to silvery-blue.

Glauca Group attempts to deal with this variety in needle color by lumping all of the various blue-needled plants into one group. Prior designations such as C. atlantica ‘Glauca’ and C. atlantica f. glauca have been eliminated in favor of C. atlantica (Glauca Group). Cultivar names for plants with uniquely different form are retained in the nomenclature, as C. atlantica (Glauca Group) ‘Glauca Fastigiata’ and C. atlantica (Glauca Group) ‘Glauca Pendula’. Trees of Glauca Group are commonly called blue atlas cedar.

Genus name is the Latin name for this plant.

Specific epithet means from the Atlas Mountains in North Africa.

‘Glauca Pendula’ is a columnar, weeping form featuring pendulous branches clad with bluish-green needles in clusters and upright, barrel-shaped cones. Training determines the form of the tree which can range from narrow-upright (if supported) to cascading in a variety of directions (if unsupported). Correct nomenclature for this cultivar is somewhat confused. Needles of Cedrus atlantica range in color, both in the wild and in seedbeds, from dark green to silvery-blue. Glauca Group attempts to deal with needle color variety by lumping blue-needled plants into Glauca group, with cultivar names being retained only for plants such as ‘Glauca Pendula’ which have uniquely different form. However, ‘Glauca Pendula’ is currently being sold by nurseries under several different names than the one used herein, including Cedrus libani ‘Glauca Pendula’ and Cedrus libani subsp. atlantica ‘Glauca Pendula’.


No serious insect or disease problems. Tip blight may occur. Heavy snow in winter can break branches.

Garden Uses

Specimen plant.