The common name is derived from the strong, pleasing, incense-like fragrance given off when the leaves are crushed. Because this is not a true cedar, the name is not separated. It is one word -- Incensecedar. The tree grows to a height of 30’-50’. The flat sprays of glossy, dark-green, scale-like overlapping leaves are held upright on flattened red-brown twigs. Red-brown cones look like duck’s bills when they open. This tree sheds pollen in February. Since the wood can be worked very smoothly, it is used to make quality pencils. Native: Western United States.
The simple, oval leaves of this tree are reddish purple when unfolding and change to a dark green in the summer. In the fall, the leaves turn a brilliant yellow, orange, and scarlet color. The ascending branches of this small tree make this a fine accent plant. The bark exfoliates on older branches exposing a gray, green, white, and brown mosaic. Flowers appear before the leaves in March to April with numerous showy crimson stamens. This tree grows 25’ high in Utah. Native: Iran.