Cedrus libani var. stenacoma - Hardy Cedar of Lebanon
Family - Pinaceae
*Most photos on this page are of a Cedar of Lebanon which was planted in Huntsville, circa 1845.
Size - The variety Stenacoma has little difference between it and the species. A slow grower to 50 to 70 feet although it can go more than 100 feet with a equal spread. Under ideal conditions I would think 12" per year would be normal. Is supposed to be more stiff and rigid in form than the species.
Foliage - Dark green, arranged in spurs of 30 to 40 needles per spur, stiff.
Flower/Fruit/Seed - Cone, purple and brown in color, 3 to 4" in length by 1 1 /2 to 2 1/2" in width. Takes 2 years to mature. Cones are actually quite attractive.
Bark - Gray-brown, somewhat platey and blockey.
Pests and Diseases - None serious
Landscape Use - A long term investment. Cedar of Lebanon like many of the true Cedars are trees which your grandchildrens great grandchildren will enjoy. This is a tree which becomes better with age and in old age carries a distinction that is rivaled by few other trees. Specimen use.
Performance - 9 Supposedly can be difficult to transplant but I've had no problems. Stenacomas here have done well being container grown and produce a very healthy root system in copper treated containers. It is intolerant of shade and needs open space to develop. The species is hardy to zone 5, rated through zone 7. Stenacoma being much hardier could be zone 4 (3?). There is a specimen on the Purdue campus.
* Until recently, the true Cedars were classified as 4 separate species, C. libani, C. atlantica, C. brevifolia, C. deodara. There has always been some disagreement as to the exact taxonomy of them as some botanists have considered them separate species while others considered them subspecies. C. atlantica and C. brevifolia are now considered subspecies of C. libani. or even synonymous with it. C. deodara which is the only one which doesn't most resemble libani is still considered a separate species. There is confusion with this new organization which still needs to be sorted when one considers that both libani and atlantica have the cultivar 'Pendula'. In relation to the variety Stenacoma, it is no longer considered sufficiently distinct enough to maintain its separate taxonomic recognition. Well, taxonomically it may be the same, but in my opinion, when a plant warrants enough to be considered a variety for reasons such as hardiness, then that separation from the species should continue and it should be recognized as such.