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Cedrus deodara

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Template:Italic title Template:Taxobox Cedrus deodara (deodar cedar, Himalayan cedar, or deodar/devdar/devadar/devadaru; Sanskrit देवदारु devadāru, Hindi: देवदार devadār, दारूक dāruk; Urdu: ديودار/ دیار deodār; Template:Zh) is a species of cedar native to the western Himalayas in eastern Afghanistan, northern Pakistan (especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Azad Jammu and Kashmir), north Republic of India (Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand states), southwesternmost Tibet in (China) and western Nepal, occurring at Template:Convert altitude. It is a large evergreen coniferous tree reaching Template:Convert tall, exceptionally Template:Convert with a trunk up to Template:Convert in diameter. It has a conic crown with level branches and drooping branchlets.<ref name=farjon>Template:Cite bookTemplate:Page needed</ref>

The leaves are needle-like, mostly Template:Convert long, occasionally up to Template:Convert long, slender (Template:Convert 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, Template:Convert long and Template:Convert broad, and disintegrate when mature (in 12 months) to release the winged seeds. The male cones are Template:Convert long, and shed their pollen in autumn.<ref name=farjon/>

Contents

Etymology

The botanical name, which is also the English common name, derives from the Sanskrit term devadāru, which means "wood of the gods", a compound of deva "god" and dāru "wood, tree".

Cultural importance in the Indian subcontinent

Among Hindus, as the etymology of deodar suggests, it is worshiped as a divine tree. Deva, the first half of the Sanskrit term, means divine, deity, or deus. Dāru, the second part, is cognate with (related to) the words durum, druid, tree, and true.<ref>Template:Cite webTemplate:Self-published inline</ref><ref name="gowan">Template:Cite webTemplate:Self-published inline</ref>

Several Hindu legends refer to this tree. For example, Valmiki Ramayan – Kishkinda khanda- stanza 4-43-13 reads:<ref>Template:Cite webTemplate:Psc</ref>

lodhra padmaka khaNDeSu devadaaru vaneSu ca | raavaNaH saha vaidehyaa maargitavyaa tataH tataH || || 4-43-13
That means “In the stands of Lodhra trees, Padmaka trees and in the woods of Devadaru, or Deodar trees, Ravana is to be searched there and there, together with Sita. [4-43-13]”

Forests full of Deodar or Devadāru trees were the favorite living place of ancient Indian sages and their families who were devoted to the Hindu god Shiva. To please Lord Shiva, the sages used to perform very difficult tapasya (meditation) practices in deodar forests. Also the ancient Hindu epics and Shaivite texts regularly mention Darukavana, meaning a forest of deodars, as a sacred place.

The deodar tree is the national tree of Pakistan.

Cultivation and uses

Cedrus deodara00.jpg

It is widely grown as an ornamental tree, often 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 Template:Convert, limiting it to USDA zone 7 and warmer for reliable growth.<ref name=odum>Template:Cite bookTemplate:Page needed</ref> It can succeed in rather cool-summer climates, as in Stateline, Nevada and Ushuaia, Argentina.<ref>http://treesneartheirlimits.blogspot.ca/</ref>

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 USDA zone 7 or even zone 6, tolerating temperatures down to about Template:Convert.<ref name=odum/> Named cultivars from this region include 'Eisregen', 'Eiswinter', 'Karl Fuchs', 'Kashmir', 'Polar Winter', and 'Shalimar'.<ref name=welch>Template:Cite book</ref><ref name=krussmann>Template:Cite bookTemplate:Page needed</ref> 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.<ref name=welch/>

This plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

Construction material

Deodar is in great demand as building material because of its durability, rot-resistant character and fine, close grain, which is capable of taking a high polish. Its historical use to construct religious temples and in landscaping around temples is well recorded. Its rot-resistant character also makes it an ideal wood for constructing the well-known houseboats of Srinagar, Kashmir. In Pakistan and India, during the British colonial period, deodar wood was used extensively for construction of barracks, public buildings, bridges, canals and railway cars.<ref name="gowan"/> Despite its durability, it is not a strong timber, and its brittle nature makes it unsuitable for delicate work where strength is required, such as chair-making.

Herbal Ayurveda

Cones of Deodar

The use of C. deodara in Ayurvedic medicines is well recorded.<ref name="gowan"/><ref>Template:Cite webTemplate:Verify credibility</ref>

The inner wood is aromatic and used to make incense. Inner wood is distilled into essential oil. As insects avoid this tree, the essential oil is used as insect repellent on the feet of horses, cattle and camels. It also has anti-fungal properties and has some potential for control of fungal deterioration of spices during storage. <ref>http://www.fao.org/docrep/v5350e/v5350e12.htm</ref> The outer bark and stem are astringent.<ref name=FAO>Template:Cite book</ref>

Due to its anti fungal and insect repellent properties, rooms made of Deodar (Cedrus deodara) wood are used to store meat and food grains like oats and wheat in Shimla, Kullu and Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh. In Himachal people suffering from asthma or other respiratory problems are advised to sit under a Deodar tree early in the morning.

Cedar oil is often used for its aromatic properties, especially in aromatherapy. It has a characteristic woody odour which may change somewhat in the course of drying out. The crude oils are often yellowish or darker in colour. Its applications cover soap perfumes, household sprays, floor polishes and insecticides and is also used in microscope work as a clearing oil.<ref name=FAO/>

Chemistry

The bark of Cedrus deodara contains large amounts of taxifolin.<ref name=Willfor>Template:Cite journal</ref> The wood contains cedeodarin (6-methyltaxifolin), dihydromyricetin (ampelopsin), cedrin (6-methyldihydromyricetin), cedrinoside<ref>Template:Cite journal</ref> and deodarin (3′,4′,5,6-tetrahydroxy-8-methyl dihydroflavonol).<ref>Template:Cite journal</ref> The main components of the needle essential oil include α-terpineol (30.2%), linalool (24.47%), limonene (17.01%), anethole (14.57%), caryophyllene (3.14%) and eugenol (2.14%).<ref>Template:Cite journal</ref> The deodar cedar also contains lignans<ref>Template:Cite journal</ref> and the phenolic sesquiterpene himasecolone together with isopimaric acid.<ref>Template:Cite journal</ref> Other compounds have been identified as (−)-matairesinol, (−)-nortrachelogenin and a dibenzylbutyrolactollignan (4,4',9-trihydroxy-3,3'-dimethoxy-9,9'-epoxylignan).<ref>Template:Cite journal</ref>

Gallery

See also

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References

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External links

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  • This page was last modified on 27 July 2015, at 10:32.
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