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a genus of evergreen or deciduous trees of the family Meliaceae. The leaves are alternate and pinnate. The small, inconspicuous flowers are in large terminal or axillary panicles. The calyx is four-or five-parted, and there are four or five petals. The fruit is a many-seeded capsule; the seeds are winged. There are seven species, distributed in tropical America—from Mexico and and the West Indies to Argentina. The Brazilian cedar (C. odorata), a tall deciduous tree whose greenish yellow flowers are in pyramidal panicles reaching 30 cm in length, yields a soft yet durable fragrant wood that is used for the interior trim of ships and in the manufacture of furniture, cigar boxes, and other items. The wood contains essential oils that repel termites and other insects. The Brazilian cedar is cultivated in warm countries.