Herb: Incense Cedar


Latin name: Calocedrus decurrens


Synonyms: Heyderia decurrens, Libocedrus decurrens, Thuja gigantea


Family: Cupressaceae (Cypress Family)



Medicinal use of Incense Cedar:

A decoction of the leaves has been used to treat stomach troubles. Steam from an infusion of the leaves has been inhaled in the treatment of colds.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Evergreen
Tree

Height:
15 m
(49 feet)

Flovering:
May


Scent:
Scented
Tree

Habitat of the herb:

Found on a variety of soils, usually on western slopes at an altitude of 700 - 2500 metres. The best specimens are found on deep well-drained slightly acidic sandy loam soils.

Edible parts of Incense Cedar:

The dense leaflets have been used as a flavouring and protection when leaching acorns.

Other uses of the herb:

The boughs and twigs have been used to make brooms. The roots have been used as overlay twine warps and overlay twine weft bases in making baskets. The bark has been made into baskets. Wood - soft, light, close grained, very durable in the soil though it is often damaged by dry rot. It has a powerful, incense-like fragrance and is used for making shingles, lathes, fencing, pencils, construction etc. Mature trees are often infected by dry rot, so they are not considered to be a major timber species.

Propagation of Incense Cedar:

Seed - sow early spring in a greenhouse. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse or cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts and consider giving them some protection from the cold for their first winter outdoors. Cuttings of the current season's growth, taken in mid autumn, in a light sandy soil in a cold frame.

Cultivation of the herb:

Found on a variety of soils, usually on western slopes at an altitude of 700 - 2500 metres. The best specimens are found on deep well-drained slightly acidic sandy loam soils.

Known hazards of Calocedrus decurrens:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.