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Indian Herbs

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Cedrus deodara

Cedrus deodara (Deodar Cedar, Himalayan Cedar, or Deodar; Hindi, devdar; ) is a species of cedar native to the western Himalaya in eastern Afghanistan, northern Pakistan, northwest and north-central India, southwesternmost Tibet and western Nepal, occurring at 1500-3200 m altitude. It is a large evergreen coniferous tree reaching 40-50 m tall, exceptionally 60 m, with a trunk up to 3 m diameter. It has a conic crown with level branches and drooping branchlets.Cedrus deodara (Deodar Cedar, Himalayan Cedar, or Deodar; Hindi, Sanskrit: is a species of cedar native to the western Himalaya in eastern Afghanistan, northern Pakistan, northwest and north-central India, southwesternmost Tibet and western Nepal, occurring at 1500-3200 m altitude. It is a large evergreen coniferous tree reaching 40-50 m tall, exceptionally 60 m, with a trunk up to 3 m diameter. It has a conic crown with level branches and drooping branchlets.

The leaves are needle-like, mostly 2.5-5 cm long, occasionally up to 7 cm long, slender (1 mm thick), borne singly on long shoots, and in dense clusters of 20-30 on short shoots; they vary from bright green to glaucous blue-green in colour. The female cones are barrel-shaped, 7-13 cm long and 5-9 cm broad, and disintegrate when mature (in 12 months) to release the winged seeds. The male cones are 4-6 cm long, and shed their pollen in autumn.

Cultivation and uses

It is widely grown as an ornamental tree, much planted in parks and large gardens for its drooping foliage. General cultivation is limited to areas with mild winters, with trees frequently killed by temperatures below about -25 C, limiting it to hardiness zones 8 and warmer for reliable growth. It is commonly grown in western Europe (north to Scotland), in the Mediterranean region, around the Black Sea, in southern and central China, on the west coast of North America as far north as Vancouver, British Columbia, and in the southeastern United States from Texas to Virginia

The most cold-tolerant trees originate in the northwest of the species' range in Kashmir and Paktia Province, Afghanistan. Selected cultivars from this region are hardy to zone 7 or even zone 6, tolerating temperatures down to about -30 C. Named cultivars from this region include 'Eisregen', 'Eiswinter', 'Karl Fuchs', 'Kashmir', 'Polar Winter', and 'Shalimar'. Of these, 'Eisregen', 'Eiswinter', 'Karl Fuchs', and 'Polar Winter' were selected in Germany from seed collected in Paktia; 'Kashmir' was a selection of the nursery trade, whereas 'Shalimar' originated from seeds collected in 1964 from Shalimar Gardens, India (in the Kashmir region) and propagated at the Arnold Arboretum. It is the national tree of Pakistan. The name "deodar" is derived from modern Indian language derivatives of the Sanskrit name 'devdar', meaning "timber of the gods".

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