Cedrus atlantica (Endl.) Manetti ex Carrière

Last updated: 12 May 2016

Scientific Name

Cedrus atlantica (Endl.) Manetti ex Carrière


Abies atlantica (Endl.) Lindl. & Gordon, Cedrus africana Gordon ex Knight, Cedrus argentea Renou, Cedrus atlantica var. argentea (Renou) A.Murray, Cedrus atlantica f. argentea (Renou) Rehder, Cedrus atlantica f. fastigiata (Carrière) Rehder, Cedrus atlantica var. glauca Carrière, Cedrus atlantica f. glauca (Carrière) Beissn., Cedrus atlantica f. pendula (Carrière) Rehder, Cedrus atlantica var. pendula (Carrière) Carrière, Cedrus atlantica var. variegata Carrière, Cedrus libani var. africana A.Murray bis, Cedrus libani subsp. atlantica (Endl.) Batt. & Trab., Cedrus libani var. atlantica (Endl.) Hook.f., Cedrus libani var. glauca Carrière, Cedrus libani f. glauca (Carrière) Beissn., Cedrus libani f. glauca (Carrière) Geerinck, Cedrus libanitica subsp. atlantica (Endl.) O.Schwarz, Cedrus libanotica subsp. atlantica (Endl.) Jahand. & Maire, Cedrus libanotica var. glauca Carrière, Pinus atlantica Endl., Pinus cedrus var. atlantica (Endl.) Parl. [1]

Vernacular Name

English Atlas cedar, atlas deodar, cedarwood [2]
China Bei fei xue song [2].

Geographical Distributions

This tree is found both in Morocco and in Algeria, growing in the Atlas and Riff Mountains in these areas. Cedrus atlantica is well suited to drought conditions once it has matured. An evergreen, C. atlanica can grow upwards of 60 feet with needles that are greenish to silvery blue in colour and purplish cones towards the top of the tree. The oil of this tree has been used to repel insects such as moths. This tree can thrive in dry or clay-like soil, but cannot survive wet soils that are not well drained. [3]

Botanical Description

C. atlantica falls under the family of Pinaceae. It 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. The needles measures up to 1 inch long, curved toward the tip and appear in tufted clusters. [4]

Young shoots are downy. The cylindrical cones measure up to 3 inch long. [4]

The leaves are needle like. Needles of this tree range in colour, both in the wild and in seedbeds, from dark green to silvery-blue. [4]


No documentation

Chemical Constituent

Essential oil of C. atlantica has been rerported to contain isolongifolene, α-himachalene, β-himachalene, γ-himachalene, α-himachalene epoxide, longiborneol, himachalol, allo-himachalol and (E)-γ-atlantone [5][6]. C. atlantica was tested to contain E- α-atlantone, ketones, sesquiterpene and terpenic ketones. [7]

Plant Part Used

Wood. [6]

Traditional Use

C. atlantica oil had been traditionally used by people for purposes such as antiseptic, astringent, diuretic, fungicidal, sedative and stimulant. [8]

Preclinical Data


Antimicrobial activity

With the agar disc diffusion assay, essential oils from C. atlantica were found to be active on Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeroginosa, Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus intermedius at a minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) of 0.25, 0.98, 0.68 and 1.25 mg/mL. [9]


No documentation

Clinical Data

No documentation


No documentation

Poisonous Management

No documentation

Line drawing

No documentation


  1. The Plant List. Ver 1.1. Cedrus atlantica (Endl.) Manetti ex Carrière. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Mar 23; cited 2016 May 12]. Available from: http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/kew-2707315
  2. Quattrocchi U. CRC world dictionary of medicinal and poisonous plants: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology. Volume II C-D. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, 2012; p.166.
  3. Lis-Balchin M. Aromatherapy science: a guide for healthcare professionals. Pharmaceutical press. 2006.
  4. Missouri Botanical Garden. Cedrus atlantica (Glouca group). [homepage on the Internet]. [cited 2016 May 12]. Available from: http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?taxonid=263250&isprofile=0&
  5. Saab AM, Harb FY, Koenig WA. Essential oil components in heart wood of Cedrus libani and Cedrus atlantica from Lebanon. Minerva Biotecnol. 2005;17(3):159.
  6. Chalchat JC, Garry RP, Miehet A, Benjilali B. Essential oil components in sawdust of Cedrus atlantica from Morocco. Journal of Essential Oil Research. 1994;6(3):323-5.
  7. Satrani B, Aberchane M, Farah A, Chaouch A, Talbi M. Chemical composition and antimicrobial activity of essential oils extracted from fractional hydrodistillation of Cedrus atlantica Manetti wood. Acta Botanica Gallica. 2006;153(1):97-104.
  8. Prabuseenivasan S, Jayakumar M, Ignacimuthu S. In vitro antibacterial activity of some plant essential oils. BMC complementary and alternative medicine. 2006;6(1):1.
  9. Derwich E, Benziane Z, Boukir A. Chemical composition and in vitro antibacterial activity of the essential oil of Cedrus atlantica. Int J Agric Biol. 2010;12(3).