Pinaceae (Pine family)
The dense evergreen canopy of an immense Cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus libani) planted at the junction of Henslow Walk and Main Walk creates a cavernous dome. The prominent cones take a year to mature from pollination and can be seen in several stages of development: tightly closed egg-shaped cones held erectly along the branches, as well as those that have already fallen and disintegrated, leaving just basal rosettes that litter the ground like carved wooden roses.
The Cedar of Lebanon is planted opposite an Atlantic Cedar (Cedrus atlantica), native to the High Atlas mountains in Morocco, which has more glaucous foliage, with the needles held in whorled clusters. Close by is another species, Cedrus aff. deodara from the Himalaya. Until the 1987 hurricane, this was partnered by another Deodar displaying a different growth habit of upright rather than the typical downward spreading branches. This grouping recalls again how Henslow laid out the tree collection of this Garden to demonstrate his research and thinking about variation and species. For Henslow, these cedars represented a single species since they can freely hybridise and give rise to fertile offspring.