Calocedrus decurrens (formerly Libocedras decurrens) Cupressaceae
Incense Cedar kal-o-SED-rus de-KER-enz
- Conifer (but not a true cedar), evergreen, stiff or narrowly columnar in youth, 70-110 ft (20-35 m) tall,
regular in outline, branchlets flattened, terminating in dense, fan-like sprays, wedge-shaped joints.
Bark light or reddish brown. Leaves in 4's closely pressed, a
"fluted wine-glass" pattern formed by each outside (lateral) pair of leaves, lustrous dark green
throughout the year (little or no winter browning), emitting an aromatic odor when crushed. Male
cones small (3 mm), yellow, female cones cylindrical, 2-2.5 cm long, composed of 6 paired, flattened, and
pointed scales ("duck-beaks"), ripening in early autumn.
- Sun or partial shade. Prefers moist, well-drained, fertile soils, but shows adaptability to different soil types. Does not usually develop brown "winter burn" color as does Thuja plicata.
- Hardy to USDA Zone 5 Native range from western Oregon to Nevada, south to California.
- calocedrus: from the Greek, kalos, beautiful, and kedros, cedar; decurrens: extending down (L).
- Oregon State Univ. campus: older tree south of Fairbanks.