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Cedrus spp.Four True Cedars
 
Cedrus spp.
Four True Cedars Four True Cedars Four True Cedars Four True Cedars Four True Cedars Four True Cedars Four True Cedars Four True Cedars Four True Cedars Four True Cedars Four True Cedars
 

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There are only four true cedars in the world and they grow from Lebanon and Syria to the Himalayas. The so called red "cedar" of the Pacific Northwest and the incense "cedar" of California, are not true cedars at all, but members of the cypress family with foliage of flattened green scales.

True cedars are members of the pine family, and have dense clusters of needles, growing spirally from stout pegs along the twigs and branches. They are very similar to larch needles, except that cedar needles are evergreen, and larch are deciduous. Barrel shaped cones grow upright on cedar branches and shatter when old. All are drought tolerant and can grow to great size. On the Great Lawn of the San Francisco Botanical Garden you can find all four species growing side by side.

Cedrus libani

Cedrus libani, Lebanon cedar, is referred to many times in the Bible as a symbol of vigor and strength. It has a massive trunk, with dark green needles. Its wood is fragrant, durable and highly decay resistant.

"The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree and grow like a Cedar of Lebanon"
Psalm 2:12

Its cones are 6 to 8 high. Legend tells us that King Solomon's temple was built of Cedrus libani. The royal temples of Egypt are also reported to have used cedar in their construction.

Cedrus deodara

Cedrus deodara, Deodar cedar, grows from Afghanistan to the Himalayas and is also widely planted in the western world. It can reach 200 feet with graceful branches that sweep downward, then upwards to a nodding pyramidal top. Its blue-green needles are 1 to 2 inches, longer than the other cedar species.

Cedrus atlantica

Cedrus atlantica, Atlas cedar, from the Atlas Mountains of Algeria and Morocco has inch long gray-green needles. Cedrus atlantica 'Glauca', a cultivar, is remarkable with intense silver needles. There are other cultivars with pendulous or weeping habits.

Cedrus brevifolia

Cedrus brevifolia, or Cyprus cedar, is rare and grows only on the island of Cyprus. With age, it develops an umbrella-shaped crown and has the shortest of all needles: .2 to .6 inches long.

Profile
Scientific Name Cedrus spp.
Family Pinaceae
Plant Type Tree
Environment Plant in deep, well drained soil. All species are deep rooted and drought tolerant once established
Bloom Pollination occurs in autumn with seeds maturing the same time a year later
Uses As ornamental trees in large gardens and parks; best when planted on sweeping lawns to appreciate shape and textured look of branches
More Info There is some discussion among botanists regarding how many true species of Cedrus actually exist. Some think C. brevifolia and C. atlantica should be considered subspecies of C. libani

Cedar is commonly used to make shoe trees because it deodorizes and absorbs moisture

The name 'cedar' has been applied to other trees with scented wood, such as the Japanese incense cedar and the California incense cedar
Location

All four of the true cedars can be found on the Great Lawn (Bed 8).

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IN BLOOM CONTRIBUTORS:
Photos by Docent Joanne Taylor
Text by Docent Kathy McNeil
Profile by Associate Curator David Kruse-Pickler

 
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Magnolia dawsoniana

Magnolia dawsoniana

January

Magnolia campbellii 'Strybing White'

Magnolia campbellii 'Strybing White'

February

Magnolia laevifolia'Strybing Compact'

Magnolia laevifolia 'Strybing Compact'

March

Aristolochia californica

Aristolochia californica

April

Chlorogalum pomeridianum

Chlorogalum pomeridianum

May

Arbutus menziesii

Arbutus menziesii

June

Romneya coulteri

Romneya coulteri

July

Cistus sp.

Cistus sp.

August

Rosmarinus sp.

Rosmarinus sp.

September

Dahlia spp.

Dahlia spp.

October

   
Magnolia campbellii

Magnolia campbellii

January

Magnolia denudata

Magnolia denudata

February

Magnolia x veitchii

Magnolia x veitchii

March

Iris douglasiana

Iris douglasiana

April

Aesculus californica

Aesculus californica

May

Vaccinium ovatum

Vaccinium ovatum

June

Sambucus racemosa

Sambucus racemosa

July

Sequoia sempervirens

Sequoia sempervirens

August

Asarum caudatum

Asarum caudatum

September

Deppea splendens

Deppea splendens

October

Montanoa spp.

Montanoa spp.

November

Bidens sp.

Bidens sp.

December

Acer palmatum 'Sango kaku'

Acer palmatum 'Sango kaku'

January

Magnolia campbellii 'Darjeeling'

Magnolia campbellii 'Darjeeling'

February

Bomaria spp.

Bomarea spp.

March

Rhododendron occidentale

Rhododendron occidentale

April

Polystichum munitum

Polystichum munitum

May

x Chiranthofremontia lenzii

x Chiranthofremontia lenzii

June

Salvia leucantha

Salvia leucantha

July

Hydrangea seemannii

Hydrangea seemannii

August

Wollemia nobilis

Wollemia nobilis

September

Cyathea cooperi

Cyathea cooperi

October

Pinus radiata

Pinus radiata

November

Correa spp.

Correa spp.

December

Garrya elliptica

Garrya elliptica

January

Magnolia x soulangeana

Magnolia x soulangeana

February

Senecio glastifolius

Senecio glastifolius

March

Ribes spp.

Ribes spp.

April

Oxalis oregana

Oxalis oregana

May

Calandrinia grandiflora

Calandrinia grandiflora

June

Taxus baccata

Taxus baccata

July

Romneya coulteri

Romneya coulteri

August

Passiflora parritae

Passiflora parritae

September

Malvaviscus arboreus

Malvaviscus arboreus

October

Monterey Cypress

Monterey Cypress

November

Aloe arborescens

Aloe arborescens

December

Aloe plicatilis

Aloe plicatilis

January

Banksia seminuda

Banksia seminuda

February

Zantedeschia elliottiana

Zantedeschia aethiopica

March

Magnolia laevifolia

Magnolia laevifolia

April

Araucaria heterophylla

Araucaria heterophylla

May

Toxicodendron diversilobum

Toxicodendron diversilobum

June

Clarkia sp.

Clarkia sp.

July

Agapanthus

Agapanthus

August

Brugmansia

Brugmansia

September

Cedrus spp.

Cedrus spp.

October

Protea repens

Protea repens

November

Camellia sinensis

Camellia sinensis

December

Thujopsis dolabrata

Thujopsis dolabrata

January

Gordonia longicarpa

Gordonia longicarpa

February

Rojasianthe superba

Rojasianthe superba

March

Echium spp.

Echium spp.

April

Iris douglasiana

Iris douglasiana

May

Digitalis purpurea

Digitalis purpurea

June

Felicia amelloides

Felicia amelloides

July

Ceroxylon quindiuense

Ceroxylon quindiuense

August

Amaryllis belladonna

Amaryllis belladonna

September

Ginkgo biloba

Ginkgo biloba

October

Acer morrisonense

Acer morrisonense

November

Ilex aquifolium

Ilex aquifolium

December

Picea sitchensis

Picea sitchensis

January

Telanthophora grandifolia

Telanthophora grandifolia

February

Aeonium arboreum 'Schwartzkopf'

Aeonium arboreum 'Schwartzkopf'

March

Leptospermum Spp.

Leptospermum

April

Salvia gesneraeflora

Salvia gesneraeflora

May

Lavandula spp.

Lavandula spp.

June

Pelargonium

Pelargonium

July

Fuchsia paniculata

Fuchsia paniculata

August

Luma apiculata

Luma apiculata

September

Luculia

Luculia

October

Arbutus unedo

Arbutus unedo

November

Cycads

Cycad

December

Restionaceae

Restionaceae

January

Hellebores

Hellebores

February

Ceanothus

Ceanothus

March

Rhododendron

Rhododendron

April

Psoralea pinnata

Psoralea pinnata

May

Fremontodendron californicum

Fremontodendron californicum

June

Leucadendron argenteum

Leucadendron argenteum

July

Crocosmia

Crocosmia

August

Gunnera tinctoria

Gunnera tinctoria

September

Pellaea rotundifolia

Pellaea rotundifolia

October

Fuchsia boliviana

Fuchsia boliviana

November

Erica canaliculata

Erica canaliculata

December

Magnolia campbelli

Magnolia campbelli

January

Magnolia denudata

Magnolia denudata

February

Camellia

Camellia

March

Geranium maderense

Geranium maderense

April

Acmena smithii

Acmena smithii

May

Eschscholzia californica

Eschscholzia californica

June

Dendromecon harfordii

Dendromecon harfordii

July

Romneya coulteri

Romneya coulteri

August

Eupatorium purpureum

Eupatorium purpureum

September

Epilobium canum sp.

Epilobium canum sp.

October

Grevillea spp.

Grevillea spp.

November

Drimys winteri

Drimys winteri

December

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