Northwest Conifers

Cedars – Cedrus


Deodar Cedar



Pollen Cones

Pollen Cones


Deodar Cedar Bark

Needles: Bundles of 15-35, sharp points

Cones: Sit upright, disperse seeds on tree

Bark: Gray, furrowed with flat plates


The true cedars, that is, those of genus Cedrus, are native to the Himalayas and the Mediterranean region. They have bundles of needles that grow on short stems. The cones of the cedars look and act like fir cones. They sit upright on the branch, and they disintegrate and disperse their winged seeds while attached to the tree. The cedars include these species that are often planted as ornamentals.

Deodar Cedar (Cedrus deodara) is native to western Himalayas and has green needles that are 2 inches long.

Cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus libani) is native to the mountains of Lebanon, Syria and Turkey and has blue-green needles that are an inch long.

Atlas Cedar (Cedrus atlantica) is native to the Atlas Mountains in northern Africa and looks llike a Cedar of Lebanon. A few sources (for example Eckenwalder) treat it as a subspecies of Cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus libani subsp. atlantica). 

Deodar Cedar is a common urban conifer in the Northwest. Cultivars of all three cedars are also popular, mostly dwarf-sized varieties that have blue needles. Deodar is derived from the sanskrit term for "wood of the gods."


Cedar of Lebanon



Cedar of Lebanon Bark

© 2012 Ken Denniston