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Juniperus virginiana

Object Details

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Smithsonian Gardens Tree Collection
On Display
National Museum of Natural History
Accession Number
2011-1027A
Description
The eastern red cedar has historically been used medicinally by various Native American people. The tree is also known for its aromatic wood, which is a popular choice for making cedar chests due to its insect repelling properties. Females of this tree produce heavy “berry” crops, which are popular among birds.
Hardiness
-50 - 30 F
Attracts
Host for butterflies
Ethnobotanical Uses
Used by many tribes as incense in purification and ritual, and symbolizes the tree of life. Durable wood was used to make lance shafts, bows, and flutes. Menomini wove mats of cedar bark which were used for many purposes.
Medicinal / Pharmaceutical
Blackfeet tribe used the "berries" of this plant to make a tea to stop vomiting and as a general tonic. Blackfeet also used plant in a mixture to treat arthritis, rheumatism, or backaches. Cheyenne used red cedar to treat persistent coughs, as a sedative for calming a hyperactive person, to speed delivery in childbirth. Cheyenne, Flathead, Nez Perce, Kutenai, and Sioux used cedar to treat colds, fevers, tonsillitis, and pneumonia. Gros Ventres used cedar to cure asthma and control bleeding. Crow people used cedar for diarrhea, to stop lung or nasal hemorrhage, and after childbirth for cleansing and healing. Parts of cedar were listed in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia at various points as a diuretic and reagent.
Provenance
Uncertain
Topic
Trees
Living Collections
Range
SE Canada to C and E USA, Mexico (Coahuila)
Habitat
Sandstone or limestone forests to clay or sand stream banks, 1-1000 meters
Life Form
Evergreen tree
Average Height
30-65'
Bark Characteristics
Exfoliating, red-brown
Bloom Characteristics
Small, cone-like on end of short twigs.
Cone Characteristics
Round, berry-like cones, blackish-green. Contain 1 to 2 seeds. Ripen in fall.
Dioecious
Yes.
Fall Color
Brown-green
Foliage Characteristics
Dark, blue-green, scale-like
Structure
Broadly conical to columnar
Data Source
Smithsonian Gardens
Common Name
Eastern Redcedar
Red Cedar
Virginia Cedar
Group
[vascular plants]
Class
Equisetopsida
Subclass
Pinidae
Order
Cupressales
Family
Cupressaceae
Genus
Juniperus
Species
virginiana
Restrictions & Rights
Usage conditions apply
GUID
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ax7398932e2-3177-44d2-9b95-3d0816318d51
Record ID
ofeo-sg_2011-1027A
Photographed by: Hannele Lahti
Photographed by: Hannele Lahti
Photographed by: Hannele Lahti
Photographed by: Hannele Lahti
Photographed by: Hannele Lahti
Photographed by: Hannele Lahti
Photographed by: Hannele Lahti
Photographed by: Hannele Lahti
Photographed by: Hannele Lahti
Photographed by: Hannele Lahti
Photographed by: Hannele Lahti
Photographed by: Hannele Lahti
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