Sunday, October 5, 2008

Incense cedar (Libocedrus decurrens)

Collected this handful today. You can see some of the actual seeds in the last picture, just above (click on either of the photos to see better close-ups). The capsules remind me of pistachio nuts. That's in appearance, not taste. They are inedible. They have a very delicate and faint apple scent.

As with many trees that are commonly called "cedar", they are not true cedrus. It is from the cypress family (Cupressaceae). Its genus is Thuja.

The shape of the mature trees remind me of smaller giant redwoods. Where I gathered these seeds there is grove of them, and when you're in their vicinity on a sunny day the smell will let you know why they are called incense cedar.

The wood is resistant to decay and, among its many uses, pencils are made from the wood.

I wonder how many of these seeds will be viable. Here's hoping a lot.

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