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Cedrus deodar.jpg
Scientific Classification
  • Cedrus deodara (Deodar Cedar)
  • Cedrus libani (Lebanon Cedar)
    • C. libani var. libani
    • C. libani var. stenocoma
    • C. libani var. brevifolia
    • C. libani var. atlantica

There are two species within the genus cedrus, which are considered the true cedars: the Cedrus dedorus and the Cedrus lebanon.[1]


The Cedrus tree family has trees that grow to be about 50 meters high. On occasion these trees can grow to be about 60 meters high, but this is rare. The tree has a heavily scented bark that is prized for it's smell. The tree's trunk has large ridges. The branches of this tree shoot out perpendicular to the tree trunk. These branches are the source of leaves. These leaves are spiralled down the branch. They have different colors and different lengths, they are not all the same. Also these branches produce cones, which is their form of reproduction. The cones are usually 6- 12 cm. long.[2]


Unidentified cedar cones.

Cedars are conifers (cone-bearing trees) that produce winged-seeds to aid in dispersion. Unlike some coniferous seeds, those produce by cedars have a very unpleasant taste to discourage their consumption by animals.

The cone requires close to a year to become mature, after which time the seed is released to germinate.[3]


Cedars grow best in warmer climates with temperatures no lower than -25°C.[4]

Biblical Usage

Main Article: Gopher wood

In the Bible's book of Genesis we read that God told Noah to build an ark of "gopher wood". Many modern study guides say that gopher wood was probably cypress or cedar. However, Hebrew experts do not know for sure what gopher wood is in modern terminology. Dr. Henry Morris said in his Defender's Study Bible (1995) that the ark was made of "a hard dense wood whose species has not yet been identified."

Oldest Cedar Found

Although researchers have reported tree samples containing 900 rings, the oldest verified cedrus is 745 years and currently living. [5]