The Hardy Cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus libani stenocoma) is a subspecies of the more famous Cedar of Lebanon. It is native to the Taurus mountains in southwestern Turkey and has a winter hardiness that makes it easier than the Cedar of Lebanon to grow in the Eastern United States. The tree is also more upright, has shorter needles and a narrower cone. Needles range in color from green to blue-green, but are generally dark green in summer. The tree was first grown in this country at the Arnold Arboretum in Boston which received seeds from this tree in 1902. The Morris Arboretum in Philadelphia has a Hardy Cedar of Lebanon which may have originated from these seeds and the same may be true for the tree in Marquand Park. Description of Cedars of Lebanon trees from the time Marquand Park was being developed around 1850, probably refer to the Cedar of Lebanon rather than the Hardy Cedar of Lebanon.
Common name: Hardy Cedar of Lebanon
Scientific Name (order and family): Cedrus libani sub species stenocoma A. Richard (O. Schwarz) PH Davis (Pinales, Pinaceae)
Origin: Eastern coast of the Mediterranean into Asia Minor, primarily Lebanon and Syria. Originally a mountains species.
Habit: Broadly columnar, 130 feet tall with huge low horizontal branches; the branches often as large as the trunk itself. Usually multi-stemmed.
Trunk/Stem: Bark dark gray cracking into vertical plates.
Leaves: Evergreen; soft acicular (needle-like) of 1/3-1 inch length; dark green to gray blue; cluster of 30 -40 needles on branch spur or singly on new shoots.
Flowers: Monoecious (male and female flowers on each tree) appearing in autumn. Male flowers, occur as catkins upright, blue green opening yellow; female flowers, upright, green borne separately on tip of spurs.
Fruits and Seeds: A barrel shaped cone but widest below the half-way point; upright green originally, purple-green second year; they breakup and shed seeds the third year.