We have recently published ‘Food Forest Plants for Hotter Conditions’: i.e. tropical and sub-tropical regions. We rely on regular donations to keep our free database going and help fund development of this and another book we are planning on food forest plants for Mediterranean climates. Please give what you can to keep PFAF properly funded. More >>>

Follow Us:


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    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Cedrela fissilis Cedro, Cigar Box Tree

Cedrela fissilis Cedro, Cigar Box Tree


Translate this page:


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

 icon of manicon of lolypop
Cedrela fissilis is a deciduous Tree growing to 25 m (82ft) by 20 m (65ft) at a fast rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 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: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


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

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

None known

References   More on Edible Uses

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.
Astringent  Emetic  Skin

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 ].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

The Bookshop: Edible Plant Books

Our Latest books on Perennial Plants For Food Forests and Permaculture Gardens in paperback or digital formats.

Food Forest Plants for Hotter Conditions: 250+ Plants For Tropical Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.
Edible Tropical Plants

Food Forest Plants for Hotter Conditions: 250+ Plants For Tropical Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.

Plants for Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.
Edible Temperate Plants

Plants for Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.

PFAF have eight books available in paperback and digital media.
More Books

PFAF have eight books available in paperback and digital formats. Browse the shop for more information.

Shop Now

Other Uses

Fuel  Pioneer  Wood

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 ].

Special Uses

Food Forest

References   More on Other Uses

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 ].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

Type a value in the Celsius field to convert the value to Fahrenheit:



The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees,Edible Shrubs, Woodland Gardening, and Temperate Food Forest Plants. Our new book is Food Forest Plants For Hotter Conditions (Tropical and Sub-Tropical).

Shop Now

Plant Propagation

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

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 NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Cedrela odorataCedar Wood, West Indian Cedar, SpanishCedar, Cigar-box Cedar, Cedro HembraTree30.0 9-12 FLMHSNM124

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


Expert comment



Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

Readers comment

Add a comment

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at [email protected]. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

To leave a comment please Register or login here All comments need to be approved so will not appear immediately.

Subject : Cedrela fissilis  
© 2010, Plants For A Future. Plants For A Future is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Charity No. 1057719, Company No. 3204567.