Common name: Cypress cedar
Cedrus brevifolia is a medium-size conifer. This is the only Cypress cedar in VanDusen. Ours was planted in 1973 and has grown as tall as the other Cedrus species around it. It’s in the Mediterranean Garden in bed 33 but probably wishes it were back home high up in the Trodos Mountains on the island of Cypress. But at least it has some relatives nearby- cedar of Lebanon and Atlas cedar and even a cultivar (C. brevifolia ‘Treveron’) further away in bed 58B.
Cypress cedar is different from the other species of its genus. This medium-sized tree has short needles, grows slowly, and is resistant to aphids. Plus it has the highest tolerance to drought of all cedar species. If you stand on the floating bridge, you can get a good view of it. Cypress cedar is a tree of legends and a tree with ancient history in its native country including its DNA.
Text and photos by Hughie Jones