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C. atlantica Gaussen
C. sempervirens L. var. atlantica (Gaussen) Silba
Although from a slightly more convenient area than the Sahara Cypress, the Atlas Cypress is also rare in cultivation. Recent collections have, however, been made by expeditions from the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. At Kew there is a very narrow specimen of about 10 m dating from 1980, when it was received from Edinburgh, from an original collection by Milde Arboretum of Bergen, Norway.
Coming from one of the least accessible parts of the world (physically and politically), and one of the harshest climates, it is not surprising that the Sahara Cypress is rather scarce in the world’s arboreta. On the other hand, there is a considerable challenge factor in going to Tassili N’Ajjer to find it, and this has obviously proved tempting on several occasions, resulting in striking photographs of picturesque gnarled trees growing in a barren rockscape. Once the challenge of collection has been met, the species seems to present no particular difficulty in cultivation. There is a group of trees at Kew, all ultimately derived as cuttings from a collection made in about 1970 by Mrs Pawluk. They are dull green in colour, and all narrowly columnar with very tightly packed shoots. In the British Isles the tallest specimen (11.8 m) is at the Hillier Gardens, where there is also another of 8 m (TROBI). The species has clear landscape potential for difficult dry places, having a strong resemblance (and close relationship) to Cupressus sempervirens, from which both subspecies of C. dupreziana can be distinguished by the presence of resin secreted by active glands on their leaves (Rushforth 1987a).
Staff at the Botanic Garden of Smith College, Massachusetts, where C. dupreziana is grown under glass, from collections made in the Tassili mountains in 1985, have studied the propagation of the species from cuttings. Rooting is best when cuttings are treated with a 24-hour soak in low concentrations of indolebutyric acid, and placed under intermittent mist at 15–25 ºC, with bottom heat (Smith College 2005b).