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Cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus libani)—G.E. HydeNatural History Photographic Agency/EB Inc.
Any of four species of tall ornamental and timber evergreen coniferous trees of the genus Cedrus, in the pine family. Three cedars are native to mountainous areas of the Mediterranean region and one to the western Himalayas. These true cedars are the Atlas cedar (C. atlantica), the Cyprus cedar (C. brevifolia), the deodar (C. deodara), and the cedar of Lebanon (C. libani). Cedarwood is light, soft, resinous, and durable, even when in contact with soil or moisture. Many other conifers known as cedars resemble true cedars in being evergreen and in having aromatic, often red or red-tinged wood that in many cases is decay-resistant and insect-repellent. The giant arborvitae, incense cedar, and some junipers (red cedar) provide the familiar cedarwood of pencils, chests, closet linings, and fence posts. See alsowhite cedar.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on cedar, visit Britannica.com.