The Atlas Mountains of Algeria and Morocco in north Africa.
An evergreen tree, conifer
20m x 8 - 12mm, can reach 40m with great age.
A broad conical tree with rigid ascending branches and a stiff vertical leader, the branchlets may be slightly drooping if the plant is growing in a warm climate. The trees are more weeping in warmer climates from the weight of the extra growth produced d
Acicular, to 25mm long x 1 - 2mm wide, with a bony point, in spirally arranged clusters of 30 to 40 on short spur branches. Blue / grey / green in the best colour forms. This colour variation frequently occurs in the wild.
Strobili are either male or female. Male strobili, cone-like erect, pale brown, 50mm high are produced on terminal short spurs on the lower branches of the tree. The male strobili shed large amounts of golden pollen. The female strobili or cones are generally hard to see, they are green, 10 to 15mm high in large numbers in the upper branches of the tree.
Cones, pale green ripening to brown, 80mm x 40mm, the cone scales are exfoliated and break up in the second or third winter.
Bark / Trunk:
Pale grey, smooth on young trees, eventually becoming fissured into small flaky plates, with red / brown bark.
Vigour / Longevity:
Moderately vigorous, more vigorous in warmer areas, long lived.
Full sun for best foliage colour and cool climates and microclimates.
Snow and frost tolerance can vary depending on the area the parent plant was originally from. Wind and drought tolerant once established, but may loose some leaves or show some leaf burn
Soil / Drainage:
Very adaptable, grows well in most soils, but will not tolerate stagnant water in soils.
Plant where there is plenty of room for this plant to develop its natural habit. Train to a single leader. This plant usually forms a good natural habit without further pruning, but occasionally an excessively long branch may need to be shortened. If a mo
While this plant is drought tolerant once it is established, it looks best when kept evenly moist.
Apply a complete fertiliser and a thick mulch in late winter till established.
Pests / Diseases:
Leaf burn and leaf drop during a drought.
Habit contrast plant in a large landscape, silhouette tree, conifer gardens, formal gardens, tubs when young, bonsai and mass planted as a screen.
© Text reproduced here with the kind permission of Tony Wilson and Barck Books.