Spanish Cedar

Botanical Name

Cedrela odorata

Other Common Names

Acajou rouge, Cedro, Cigar box cedar, South American cedar, Odorata


Mexico to Argentina and is found in all countries except Chile

The Tree

Under favorable conditions will reach heights over 100 ft and diameters 3 to 6 ft above the substantial buttresses. Straight cylindrical boles clear for 40 to 60 ft.


Heartwood pinkish- to reddish brown when freshly cut, becoming red or dark reddish brown, sometimes with a purplish tinge, after exposure.


Grain usually straight, sometimes interlocked; texture rather fine and uniform to coarse and uneven; luster medium to high and golden; distinctive cedary odor usually pronounced.

Working Properties

Spanish cedar is easy to work with hand and machine tools but somewhat difficult to bore cleanly. Easy to cut into veneer but with some tendency for wooly surfaces to occur; good nailing and gluing properties; stains and finishes well but gums and oils sometimes are a problem in polishing.


Wood is favored for millwork, cabinets, fine furniture, musical instruments, boat building, patterns, decorative plywood, cigar wrappers, and cigar boxes.


Spanish Cedar should be in the moderate price range, considering it’s an imported lumber. A historically valuable Latin-American timber, Spanish Cedar has been exploited in many regions. Some of the wood available at present comes from African plantations.