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cedar,common name for a number of trees, mostly coniferous evergreens. The true cedars belong to the small genus Cedrus of the family Pinaceae (pinepine,
common name for members of the Pinaceae, a family of resinous woody trees with needlelike, usually evergreen leaves. The Pinaceae reproduce by means of cones (see cone) rather than flowers and many have winged seeds, suitable for wind distribution.
..... Click the link for more information. family). All are native to the Old World from the Mediterranean to the Himalayas, although several are cultivated elsewhere as ornamentals, especially the cedar of Lebanon (C. libani), which appears in the Lebanese flag. This tree, native to Asia Minor and North Africa, is famous for the historic groves of the Lebanon Mts., frequently mentioned in the Bible. The wood used in building the Temple and the house of Solomon (1 Kings 5, 6, and 7) may, however, have been that of the deodar cedar (C. deodara), native to the Himalayas. It has fragrant wood, durable and fine grained, and is venerated by the Hindus, who call it Tree of God. The name cedar is used (particularly in North America, where no cedars are native) for other conifers, e.g., the juniperjuniper,
any tree or shrub of the genus Juniperus, aromatic evergreens of the family Cupressaceae (cypress family), widely distributed over the north temperate zone. Many are valuable as a source of lumber and oil. The small fleshy cones are berrylike in appearance.
..... Click the link for more information. (red cedar), arborvitaearborvitae
[Lat.,=tree of life], aromatic evergreen tree of the genus Thuja of the family Cupressaceae (cypress family), with scalelike leaves borne on flattened branchlets of a fanlike appearance and with very small cones.
..... Click the link for more information. (white cedar), and others of the family Cupressaceae (cypresscypress,
common name for members of the Cupressaceae, a widely distributed family of coniferous shrubs and trees, several yielding valuable timber. The major genera are Juniperus (juniper), Thuja (arborvitae), and Cupressus (the true cypresses).
..... Click the link for more information. family). Several tropical American trees of the genus Cedrela of the mahoganymahogany,
common name for the Meliaceae, a widely distributed family of chiefly tropical shrubs and trees, often having scented wood. The valuable hardwood called mahogany is obtained from many members of the family; in America and Europe it is imported for cabinetmaking and
..... Click the link for more information. family are also called cedars. True cedars are classified in the division PinophytaPinophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called gymnosperms. The gymnosperms, a group that includes the pine, have stems, roots and leaves, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
..... Click the link for more information. , class Pinopsida, order Coniferales, family Pinaceae.
(Cedrus), a genus of coniferous evergreen trees of the family Pinaceae. The trunk is 25–50 m high, with a dark gray, dehiscent, and scaly bark. The crown is spreading and pyramidal or umbrelled (on old trees). The evergreen leaves are acicular, trihedral or tetrahedral, stiff, and spiny; they range in color from dark green and blue-green to silver-gray. The leaves are in fascicles of 30–40 on short shoots (pulvini) or spirally arranged and single on long shoots. The cedar blossoms in the fall. The anther spikelets are individual and surrounded by groups of leaves; the pollen has sacs. The cones are individual, erect, barrel-shaped or ovid, and elongated (length, 5–10 cm; width, 4–6 cm); they mature and fall in the second or third year. The seed-bearing scales are imbricate, appressed, and shaped like broad kidneys. The seeds are resinous, 12–18 mm long, triangular, and winged; they are not edible. The cedar has a surface root system.
Cedars grow on mountains at altitudes of 1,300–3,600 m, forming cedar forests with fir, spruce, pine, oak, and four other species of trees. The Atlas cedar (Cedrus atlantica) is found in the Atlas Mountains of northwest Africa. The cedar of Lebanon (C. libani) grows in Lebanon and Syria and on the Cilician Taurus in Asia Minor. The Cyprian cedar (C. brevifolia) is found on Cyprus; the deodar (C. deodard) in the Western Himalayas. The wood is yellowish or reddish, fragrant, and resistant to fungus and insect damage.
Cedar trees are cultivated in parks. The blue and silver varieties are particularly valuable. In the USSR cedars, most frequently the Atlas and deodar, are cultivated as ornamentals in the Crimea, Caucasus, and southern Middle Asia. The Atlas is 40 m high and has a pyramidal crown of bluish green, grayish silver, or, less commonly, green needles. The needles measure less than 2.5 cm long. The deodar is 50 m high, with a pyramidal crown and light gray-green slender needles. The needles are 2.5–5.0 cm long.
Several species of pine (for example, the nut pines) and the incense cedars of the coniferous genus Libocedrus of the family Cupressaceae are incorrectly called cedars. Six species of incense cedar are found in New Zealand, New Caledonia, and southern Chile; two species, L. chilensis and L. decurens, are cultivated in the Crimea and Transcaucasia. Several other species of trees are sometimes called cedar. An American juniper, Juniperus virginiana, is also known as the eastern-red cedar. The American arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis) is sometimes called the white cedar.
REFERENCESDerev’ia i kustarniki SSSR, vol. 1. Moscow-Leningrad, 1949.
Walter, H. Die Vegetation der Erde in öko-physiologischen Betrachtung, vol. 2. Jena, 1968.
["A Description of the Cedar Language", Butler Lampson, Xerox PARC, CSL-83-15 (Dec 1983)].
["The Structure of Cedar", D. Swinehart et al, SIGPLAN Notices 20(7):230-244 (July 1985)].