With its gracefully pendent branches and pyramidal shape, this was perhaps the most familiar of all Indian plants in larger Victorian gardens and parks. Seed was exported on a large scale from the Saharanpur Botanic garden from the 1840s onwards – 2000 lbs (900 kg) of seed in the year 1863 alone. It is native to the North-West Himalaya (from Afghanistan to Western Nepal), where it can reach a height of 75 metres. It is an important timber tree: the aromatic, durable wood is used for construction purposes and for making furniture and boats. Oil is distilled from the wood and used medicinally.
Watercolour of the cone of Cedrus deodara by Margaret Eleanora Prinsep, c 1862, from the Cleghorn Collection
Lithograph after drawing by Lady Canning from Lawson’s Pinetum Britannicum
RBGE Living Collections Accession Factsheet
Scientific Name:Cedrus deodara (Roxb. ex D.Don) G.Don