Atlantic White Cedar
Chamaecyparis thyoides
Family Pinaceae

* Needles scalelike, narrow, not flattened on twigs. Northern White Cedar has wider needles that are flattened.
* Foliage sprays bristly, forked, not flat.
* Cones spherical, 1/4-1/2".
* Height: 40-60'.

Natural History:
* Habitat: Swamps and bogs near the coast.
* Range: The Atlantic Coast of the United States, from northern Florida to southern Maine.
* Native.

* Cedar wood is soft, durable, light, and aromatic. It is prized by shipbuilders and shingle-makers for its strength and home-owners for its nearly white color and resistance to rot. People store cedar chips (or mothballs) in their drawers and attics to ward off cloth-eating moths.

* Herr Mittelburg, a German organ-builder visiting Philadelphia in the early 1700's, was so impressed with the resonant qualities of cedar wood that he began producing organ pipes out of it. Cedar wood is still sometimes used for this purpose.

* Prehistoric cedar logs have been found in the bogs of New Jersey, where cedar thrives in the acidic soil. Partial, not complete, decomposition of bog trees (due to low oxygen and high acid levels) stains nearby water a deep reddish brown.


Created by: Allaire Diamond and Jiasuey Hsu
Maintained by: Nick Rodenhouse
Created: July 31, 1998
Last Modified: November 21, 2008