CITESwoodID: descriptions, illustrations, identification and information retrieval

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H. G. Richter, K. Gembruch, G. Koch

Cedrela odorata L. (Cedro) - CITES III

Nomenclature. Family: MELIACEAE. Other trade relevant species: Other trade relevant species: Cedrela fissilis . Synonym(s): C. odorata: C. mexicana, C. glaziovii, C. guianensis; C. fissilis: C. balansae, C. brasiliensis. Further trade and local names: Central American cedar, Honduras cedar, Nicaragua cedar, Tabasco cedar (US, GB); cedar (JA); aluk (CR); calicedro (MX); yalam (NI); cedro amargo (VE); cédrat (GF); red cedar (AN); cédre rouge (FR); cedrela, cedro colorado, cedro real, cedro salteño (AR). Code according to DIN EN 13556: CEXX - for the entire genus Cedrela. Internal code: CED.

CITES(EU) status of protection. Listed in Annex III(C) (Colombia, Peru). Similar woods: Swietenia spp., Tectona grandis, Toona spp.

Geographic distribution. Mexico and Central America to Caribbean to tropical South America.

Growth rings, colour, grain, etc. Growth ring boundaries distinct. Heartwood basically brown, red (light to dark reddish brown); without streaks. Sapwood distinct from heartwood colour. Odour distinct (aromatic). Wood light weight and soft, or of medium weight (0.43–0.51 g/cm3). Interlocked grain absent (however, it may occur occasionally but is not a characteristic feature of the timber).

Hardwood vs softwood. Vessels (pores) present (= hardwood).

Vessels (pores). Wood ring-porous, or semi-ring-porous (depending on growth conditions the ringporous or semi-ringporous pore distribution is more or less prominent); earlywood pore ring uniseriate (occasionally with short biseriate tracks). Vessels (pores) in multiples; commonly in short (2–3 vessels) radial rows. Vessels medium to large (75–240–340 µm); few (3–8). Tyloses absent. Other deposits in heartwood vessels (pores) present (dark reddish brown), or absent (in case sapwood is mistaken for heartwood).

Axial parenchyma. Axial parenchyma present; banded and not banded. Parenchyma bands exclusively marginal (or seemingly marginal); narrow to wide. The marginal parenchyma bands accompany the ring of earlywood pores and occasionally enclose the large pores. Other macroscopically visible types of axial parenchyma: diffuse-in-aggregates and vasicentric.

Rays. Rays narrow. Large rays commonly less than 1 mm high.

Resin canals. Normal resin canals absent (traumatic resin canals in tangential rows can be observed occasionally).

Physical and chemical tests. Heartwood not fluorescent. Water extract not fluorescent; colourless to brown. Ethanol extract fluorescent (weakly orange); colourless to brown. Splinter burns to partial ash; colour of ash white to grey.

Additional information. Accepted 2001 in Appendix III following a request of Peru. No official proposal required. see also: Informationsdienst Holz Merkblatt Nr. 38. • ced.jpg. Cedrela odorata (Cedro). Transverse section ca. 10x. Tangential surface, natural size. • ced-mah.jpg. Cedrela odorata (Cedro). Swietenia spp. (Echtes Mahagoni, True Mahogany). Cedrela and Swietenia timbers are of similar colour and weight. However, the semi-ringporous Cedrela has large vessels (marked) and is aromatic, the diffuse-porous Swietenia has medium sized pores (marked) and is odourless. • ced-tea.jpg. Cedrela odorata (Cedro). Tectona grandis (Teak). Cedrela odorata and Tectona grandis have a similar macroscopic structure (transverse section). However, Cedrela odorata differs from Tectona grandis considerably in colour, density and odour. • ced-too.jpg. Cedrela odorata (Cedro). Toona spp. (Suren, Toon). The timbers of Cedrela odorata and Toona are virtually indistinguishable given their similar colour, structure and odour. The only means of correct attribution is reliable information about the origin.


The interactive key allows access to the character list, illustrations, full and partial descriptions, diagnostic descriptions, differences and similarities between taxa, lists of taxa exhibiting specified attributes, summaries of attributes within groups of taxa, and geographical distribution.

Cite this publication as: ‘Richter, H.G., Gembruch, K., and Koch, G. 2014 onwards. CITESwoodID: descriptions, illustrations, identification, and information retrieval. In English, French, German, and Spanish. Version: 16th May 2014. delta-intkey.com’.

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