Willowmore Cedar (Widdringtonia schwarzii)


Widdringtonia schwarzii, commonly known as the Willowmore Cedar, is a slow-growing evergreen conifer native to South Africa. It is endemic to the Baviaanskloof and Kouga Mountains west of Port Elizabeth in Eastern Cape Province and occurs on dry, rocky slopes and crags at 600-1,200 m altitude. It is threatened by habitat loss, particularly by wildfire. It belongs to the Cupressaceae family and is closely related to the other cedar species of the Widdringtonia genus. The Willowmore cypress is a protected tree in South Africa.

Here is some useful plant-growing information for the Widdringtonia schwarzii:

Tree height and spread:

Widdringtonia schwarzii is a small to medium-sized tree that typically grows up to 6 meters in height and spreads about 2-3 meters wide. When young, it has a conical to columnar shape, gradually becoming irregular and spreading as it ages.

Preferred soil type and pH:

Widdringtonia schwarzii prefers well-drained, sandy soils that are slightly acidic to neutral, with a pH range between 6.0 to 7.5. It tolerates many soil types but does not grow well in heavy clay soils. The tree prefers a sunny location and does not tolerate shade well.

Climate and temperature:

Widdringtonia schwarzii is a hardy tree well adapted to the Mediterranean-type climate of its native habitat. It prefers a mild to cool climate with moderate rainfall but can tolerate occasional drought. It is also tolerant of light frost but may be damaged by severe cold.

Watering and fertilising:

Once established, Widdringtonia schwarzii does not require frequent watering, but it should be watered regularly during its first year of growth to help it establish a robust root system. The tree does not require regular fertilisation, but a slow-release fertiliser can be applied in early spring to help promote healthy growth.

Pruning and training:

Widdringtonia schwarzii is a slow-growing tree that typically requires little pruning except for removing dead or damaged branches. It has a naturally attractive shape, and with proper training, it can be a striking specimen tree in any landscape.


Widdringtonia schwarzii can be propagated from seed or cuttings. Seed propagation is the easiest method, and the seeds should be sown in a well-draining potting mix and kept moist until they germinate. Cuttings can be taken from semi-hardwood stems in late spring or early summer and treated with rooting hormone before planting.

Pests and diseases:

Widdringtonia schwarzii is a hardy tree resistant to most pests and diseases. However, it may be susceptible to fungal infections in wet conditions, such as root rot or cankers.


The wood of the Widdringtonia schwarzii is highly prized for its beautiful colour and fine grain, making it a popular choice for furniture, cabinetry, and decorative woodwork. The tree is also commonly planted as an ornamental specimen tree in parks and gardens, and it is often used in hedgerows to create a natural barrier. In addition, the essential oil extracted from the wood is used in aromatherapy and other medicinal purposes.

The Willowmore Cedar is an attractive, low-maintenance tree well-suited to various climates and soil types. It is best for cool & Mediterranean climates, requires moderate watering, and does not require a lot of fertiliser. Proper care and maintenance can provide many years of beauty and enjoyment in the landscape.

Weight 3 kg
Dimensions 59 × 14 × 10 cm
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6 to 8 metres, 8 to 10 metres, 10 to 15 metres, 15 to 20 metres

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2 to 3 metres

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