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Cedrela fissilis - Vell.

Common Name Cedro, Cigar Box Tree
Family Meliaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Found in lowlands along streams and upland rain forests[ 341 ]. A species of tropical, lowland to submontane forest of various types[ 349 ]. Found in both dense primary and more open secondary forest, favouring deep, moist, fertile soils[ 419 ].
Range Western S. America - Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, north through Central America to Costa Rica.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Tender Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Cedrela fissilis Cedro, Cigar Box Tree

Cedrela fissilis Cedro, Cigar Box Tree

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Cedrela fissilis, otherwise known as Cedro, is a fast-growing tree native to Central and South America known for its high quality timber. It is deciduous and grows up to 20 ? 50 m tall. Its crown is dense and round and its trunk can reach up to 100 cm in diameter. Presently, it is considered to be an endangered species due to overexploitation and habitat losses. Medicinally, it is used in the treatment of leucorrhoea, ulcers, sores, and orchitis. Common names: Argentine cedar, cedro batata, cedro blanco, and cedro colorado

Physical Characteristics

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Cedrela fissilis is a deciduous Tree growing to 25 m (82ft) by 20 m (65ft) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10 and is frost tender. It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.


Cedrela barbata C.DC. Cedrela brasiliensis A.Juss. Cedrela brunellioides Rusby.Cedrela elliptica Riz


Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

The bark is astringent and emetic[ 46 , 739 ]. It has been recommended for the treatment of leucorrhoea, and is used as a dressing on ulcers[ 46 , 739 ]. A decoction of the wood is used as a wash for cleaning sores, and in a vapour bath to treat orchitis[ 739 ]. The fruits and the seed contain the limonoid triterpene fissinolide[ 739 ].

Other Uses

Other uses rating: High (4/5). Agroforestry Uses: A very fast-growing tree that is tolerant of full sun, it can be used as a pioneer species when restoring native woodland and can also be used when establishing a woodland garden, though it should not be planted in homogeneous stands because it is susceptible to borers[ 419 ]. Other Uses The heartwood varies from pale pinkish-grey to deep reddish-brown with pronounced stripes and a high golden lustre; it is clearly demarcated from the 3 - 5cm wide band of whitish or yellowish-pink sapwood. The texture is moderately coarse; the grain straight or slightly interlocked; growth rings well demarcated; a characteristic fragrant scent is usually present; the taste is slightly bitter. The wood is light to moderately heavy; soft to very soft; it is very durable in dry conditions but it rots rapidly when buried or submerged, and is somewhat susceptible to termites. Soft tissue fairly abundant and found around the pores as well as in lines more or less parallel to the rings. Some cells are filled with resin. The timber seasons fairly rapidly with little or no splitting or warping if handled with care. Some tendency to collapse in drying may occur. It works easily with both hand and machine tools; the finish may be affected by interlocked grain and occasional gum pockets; in planing, 200 degree cutting angle will give a good finish; it has good gluing, nail holding and screw holding characteristics; stains and polishes well; slices readily. It is reported to have moderately good steam bending properties. The wood is widely used for making plywood, veneer, sculptures, models and frames, it is also used for cabinet making, high class furniture, naval and aircraft construction, railroad ties, canoes, general carpentry and pencils[ 46 , 341 , 419 , 848 ]. It is a moderately good fuel[ 341 ].

Cultivation details

A plant of low to medium elevations in the tropics. Succeeds in full sun and also in moderate shade[ 381 , 419 ]. Prefers well-drained slopes on chalky soils[ 341 ]. Grows well on well-drained fertile soils[ 349 ]. A fast-growing tree, able to reach a height of 3 - 4 metres within 2 years from seed[ 419 ].


Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a partially shaded position in a nursery seedbed or in individual containers. A very high germination rate can be expected, with the seed sprouting within 12 - 18 days[ 419 ]. The seedlings should be ready to plant out 2 - 4 months later[ 419 ]. Natural regeneration may be encouraged by clearing around seed trees[ 341 ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Cedrela fissilis, otherwise known as Cedro. Common names: Argentine cedar, cedro batata, cedro blanco, and cedro colorado

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Coming Soon

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

None Known

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : Status: Endangered A1acd+2cd

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Cedrela odorataCedar Wood, West Indian Cedar, SpanishCedar, Cigar-box Cedar, Cedro Hembra12


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