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Calocedrus decurrens (Torr.) Florin
Incense cedar, Incense-cedar
Synonyms: Libocedrus decurrens
USDA Symbol: CADE27
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
Incense-cedar is a majestic, evergreen tree with flat sprays of aromatic, bright-green foliage, a conical crown, a straight trunk, and cinnamon-brown bark. Though is usually does not exceed 60 ft. in cultivation, specimens in the wild can be twice as tall. Although stands of young trees are killed by fire, the very thick bark protects mature trees.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Tree Leaf Retention: Evergreen Leaf Arrangement: Opposite Leaf Complexity: Simple Inflorescence: Catkin Size Notes:
Height 50-100 feet, spread to 50 feet. Leaf:
Green to yellowish. Fruit:
Reddish-brown, urn-shaped. 3/4 to 1 inch long. Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May
CA , NV , OR , UT Native Distribution:
CA, OR & w. NV Native Habitat:
Wooded, mt. slopes & canyons USDA Native Status: L48(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use:
Low Light Requirement:
Sun , Part Shade Soil Moisture:
Dry CaCO3 Tolerance:
Low Cold Tolerant:
Well-drained, mesic soils. Conditions Comments:
The growth rate of incense cedar is remarkably fast when young (to 20 ft.) but slows to a crawl thereafter. The tree
can live up to 1000 years. The tree
appears to do well in a wide variety of moisture and temperature conditions.
BenefitUse Medicinal: Leaves decocted to treat stomach ailments, steamed to treat nasal congestion and colds.
Use Other: An important timber species, Incense Cedar is also the leading wood for the manufacture of pencils, because it is soft but not splintery, and can be sharpened in any direction with ease. The aromatic wood is also used for cedar chests and closets.
Fragrant Foliage: yes
PropagationPropagation Material: Seeds , Softwood Cuttings
Description: Progeny come well from seeds or cuttings.
Seed Collection: Cones, each containing up to four seeds, mature in one season. The winged seeds are one in. long and 1/3 as wide.
Seed Treatment: Stratification for 30-60 days at 37-41 degrees improves germination.
Commercially Avail: yes
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Record Modified: 2008-10-19
Research By: TWC Staff