From the Holy Grail to ambrosia, the idea of achieving immortality has woven itself into cultures around the world for ages. Given their many symbolic and medicinal qualities, it comes as no surprise that a plant should be so closely associated with it. While there are several, one tree with an especially close connection to everlasting life is the cedar tree (cedrus spp.)
A member of the pine family and native to the Mediterranean region and Western Himalayas, cedar trees were prized in particular by the ancient Egyptians for their resin which was used as an effective embalming preservative to protect against decay – a critical feature for those seeking to live on forever in the afterlife. The potent resin was also used as an antimicrobial and insecticide. These properties meant that wood from the cedar tree was especially long-lasting so was used in many sacred and esteemed spaces.
"Cedar" is derived from the Latin word "cedrus" and the Greek work "kedros" both of which referred directly to the tree. However, given it's properties, the Romans went as far as to use the word figuratively for immortality.