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Cedar most correctly refers to those trees belonging to the Genus Cedrus in the coniferous plant Family Pinaceae. There are three species of true cedar. The Atlas cedar (Cedrus atlantica) native to the Atlas mountains of Northern Africa, The Cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus libani) native to the mountains of Lebanon and surrounding areas, and the Deodar (Cedrus deodora) native to the Himalayan region of Asia. The Cyprian cedar of Cyprus is sometimes considered to be a variant of Cedrus libani, and sometimes to be the separate species, Cedrus brevifolia.

The name cedar has also been used to refer to various members of the genera Juniperis and Thuja in the Family Cupressaceae.