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The cedar, the national tree of Lebanon

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Cedar in Lebanon

The cedar is the national symbol of Lebanon, which appears on its flag on a white background and flanked by two red stripes. Even the name of the country itself seems to come from the word Luban, which is said to mean “mountain of perfumes”, one of its most appreciated characteristics being the intense aroma given off by the bark of the tree.

Unfortunately the lush cedar forests that appear in descriptions of the country by ancient historians have disappeared over the centuries. Desertification has come a long way since that time. The cedars that remain today are the subject of special protection by the authorities, both for their natural value and for their cultural value. A good part of these last survivors are concentrated on the slopes of Mount Lebanon, a height which dominates Beirut, the capital of the country. This is the famous cedar forest of Bechare.

Characteristics of the cedar of Lebanon

cedar leaves

The cedar is the ideal plant to be the national symbol of the Lebanese, since it It is a large and beautiful tree that also gives off a very pleasant aroma.. It is a very slow-growing conifer native to the Middle East, belonging to the Pinaceae family (Pinaceae) and whose scientific name is cedrus libani. It lives in mountainous regions, mostly found between 1,300 and 1,800 meters above sea level.

It reaches a height of 40 meters and, like most conifers, has evergreen leaves. These are dark green, rigid, up to 10cm long. The trunk measures 2 to 3 m in diameter. It has a very high quality wood, so much so that it can withstand the passage of time with virtually no damage. In fact, it was already highly valued in antiquity. According to the Bible, King Solomon used it to build the famous solomon temple.

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If we talk about the fruit, the cone, it is spherical in shape and is about 10cm long. Inside are the seeds, which They will germinate after spending a few months at low temperatures.During the spring.

It is a plant that easily withstands high temperatures and periods of droughtbut nevertheless it can turn out badly if the winter is too severe or if the ground is permanently wet.

Uses of Cedar of Lebanon

cedar fruit

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It is a conifer which, since antiquity, has been cultivated mainly for its wood. Very good quality furniture is made with it, which is very durable. In addition, it is very easy to workso you can make musical instruments, toys, sculptures, etc.

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Another use is as an ornamental plant. Although it grows slowly, its irregular habit makes it a very interesting species to have in large gardens, either as an isolated specimen or in rows, as a hedge. Another of its qualities is that, unlike other cedars, tolerates calcareous soilsit is therefore not necessary to have to provide it with a mineral supplement (such as iron) for its growth and development to be optimal.

cedar height

Some even have it as bonsai, making truly spectacular specimens that are passed down from generation to generation. As it has rather small leaves, it is possible to work it without getting too complicated with fertilizers, and as it can live for around 2,000 years, there is plenty of time to have a very, very successful tree at home 😉 . In addition holds up well to pruning and can live well in a narrow pot, of course, provided it is well cared for.

But apart from these interesting uses, we would also like to point out that it has medicinal properties that cannot be ignored.

Medicinal properties of cedar of Lebanon

Type of Cedar of Lebanon

Cedar is mainly used as antiseptic, since it helps fight infections. It can also be used to treat allergic skin reactions. But it will also help you relieve bronchitis, flu and cold symptoms, bring down fever, stop diarrhea and/or vomiting, treat bleeding, and last but not least, it will repel and eliminate harmful internal parasites (worms) you may have

For this, practically the whole plant is used: sheets, root, Cortex Yes seeds. The method of preparation is simple, since all you have to do is cook them and make an infusion. Of course, for wounds it will be much more advisable to take a few young leaves from the tree, crush them into a fine paste, and apply them directly to the skin on a cloth. This way it will heal much sooner than expected.

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Although if you go there I recommend you get it cedar essential oilwhich will also serve to repel insects, which never hurts to be able to enjoy your vacation more.

What do you think of the cedar of Lebanon? Interesting and curious plant, right?

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