Tree . Cinnamomum camphora is native to Japan, China, Taiwan and northern Vietnam. C. camphora has become widely naturalized in Australia. In the United States, it grows along the Gulf Coast and in California. C. camphora seeds are easily spread by birds from cultivated yards to open forests , and it is also spread to new locations through plant nursery sales. C. camphora fruits, leaves, and roots are toxic to humans in large doses . The trees have been associated with sterility in birds, fish kills , and the absence of frogs in nearby wetlands. According to LCD (2000), C. camphora is widely planted as a shade tree, screen , or windbreak. In China and Japan, it is grown commercially for its medicinal oil .
Click on the language to view common names.
Common Names in Afrikaans:
Common Names in Burmese:
Common Names in Chinese:
Xiang Zhang Shu, Zhang, Zhang Shu
Common Names in English:
Camphor Laurel, Camphor, Camphor Tree, Camphortree, Japanese Camphor
Common Names in French:
Common Names in German:
Common Names in Hindi:
Kapoor, Kapur, Karpoora, Karpur, Karpuram, Mushkapur, Pacchakarpuram
Common Names in Italian:
Albero Della Canfora, Canfora, Canforo, Lauro Canforo
Common Names in Japanese:
Kuso-No-Ki, Kusu, Kusuno-Ki, Kusunoki
Common Names in Kannada:
Common Names in Korean:
Nok Na Mu
Common Names in Malayalam:
Cutakkarpuram, Karpuram, Subhramsu
Common Names in Nepalese:
Common Names in Portuguese:
árvore-Da-Camphora, Arvore Da Camphora, Arvore Da Camphora (árvore-Da-Camphora)
Common Names in Russian:
Kamfornii Lavr, Kamfornoe Derevo, Korichnik Kamfornii
Common Names in Sanskrit:
Candra, Karpura, Karpurah
Common Names in Spanish:
Alcanfor, Alcanforero, Arbol Del Alcanfor
Common Names in Tamil:
Common Names in Telugu:
Karpuramu, Pacca Karpuram
Common Names in Thai:
Karabun, Op Choei Yuan (Central Thailand), Phrom Seng (Shan - Northern Thailand)
Common Names in unspecified:
Camphor Laurel, Camphor Tree, Camphortree
Common Names in Urdu:
to tall trees
or rarely deciduous ( Cassytha a parasitic vine
with leaves reduced to scales
), usually aromatic
. Leaves alternate, rarely whorled
or opposite, simple
, without stipules, petiolate
. Leaf blade
: unlobed (unlobed or lobed
in Sassafras ), margins
entire, occasionally with domatia (crevices or hollows serving as lodging for mites
) in axils of main lateral
veins (in Cinnamomum ) . Inflorescences in axils of leaves or deciduous bracts, panicles (rarely heads
cymes, or pseudoumbels (spikes in Cassytha ), sometimes enclosed by decussate bracts. Flowers bisexual
, bisexual only, or staminate
on different plants
, or staminate and bisexual on some plants, pistillate and bisexual on others; flowers usually yellow to greenish or white, rarely reddish; hypanthium well developed, resembling calyx tube
, tepals and stamens perigynous; tepals 6(-9), in 2(-3) whorls of 3, sepaloid
, equal or rarely unequal, if unequal then usually outer 3 smaller than inner 3 (occasionally absent in Litsea ) ; stamens (3-) 9(-12), in whorls of 3, but 1 or more whorls frequently staminodial or absent; stamens of 3d whorl with 2 glands
2- or 4-locular, locules opening by valves
; pistil 1, 1-carpellate; ovary 1-locular; placentation basal; ovule 1; stigma subsessile
or capitate. Fruits drupes, drupe borne on pedicel with or without persistent
tepals at base, or seated in ± deeply cup-shaped receptacle (cupule), or enclosed in accrescent
. Seed 1; endosperm absent.
Genera ca. 50, species 2000-3000 (9 genera, 13 species in the flora ) : pantropical , a few species also in subtropical and temperate regions
Cassytha is sometimes placed in its own family , Cassythaceae; it is here retained in Lauraceae.
gray [or brown], furrowed
]; bark and leaves often aromatic
. Leaves alternate, infrequently opposite. Leaf blade
with (1-) 3 primary
veins [or infrequently pinnately veined], papery
to leathery; surfaces glabrous
or variously pubescent
; domatia frequently present. Inflorescences appearing when mature
leaves are present, axillary
, panicles. Flowers bisexual
; tepals deciduous or persistent
, white, green, or yellow, equal; stamens 9, anthers
4-locular, 4-valved (rarely with anthers of inner 3 stamens 2-locular), extrorse
; staminodes 3, apex sagittate
or cordate; ovary ovoid-ellipsoid. Drupe bluish black, nearly globose
, seated in small cupule with entire single rim
or tepals persistent.
Species 300 or more: tropical and subtropical regions, North America, Central America, South America, Asia, Pacific Islands, Australia.
The neotropical species were formerly included in Phoebe, but they are better placed in Cinnamomum.
Species Cinnamomum camphora
Trees , to 15 m. Branches terete , glabrous , terminal and axillary buds covered by imbricate bracts, young twigs with clusters of scars from fallen bracts. Leaves alternate; petiole to 3 cm. Leaf blade ovate to elliptic or elliptic-lanceolate, with (1-) 3 primary veins, 7-12 × 3-5 cm, base rounded to cuneate, apex sharply acute; surfaces glabrous except for pubescent domatia in axils of main lateral veins. Flowers: tepals greenish white, 1-2 mm, glabrous abaxially, pubescent adaxially; stamens arranged in outer whorl of 6 (actually 2 whorls of 3) and inner whorl of 3. Drupe to 9 mm diam. 2 n = 24. Flowering spring (Apr-May). [source]
Flowers: Bloom Period: January, February, September. • Flower Color: near white, white
Size: over 40' tall.
areas, including the Gulf
Coast; 0-150 m
LCD (2000) indicates that C. camphora prefers fertile , sandy soil. It will tolerate a pH anywhere in the range of 4.3 to 8, and will grow in full sun or partial shade. However, C. camphora does not do well in wet soils. Established trees are tolerant of drought . Occurs primarily in drier disturbed areas such as roadsides and fencerows, but has invaded natural areas such as mesic hammocks , upland pine woods , and scrubland.
Ecology: Murray and Ramey (2003) note that C. camphora grows like a weed , infesting forests and displacing native trees . According to LCD (2000), C. camphora fruits, leaves, and roots are toxic to humans in large doses . They contain chemicals that stimulate the central nervous system and may affect respiration or cause convulsions. In Chinese medicine, camphor is forbidden for pregnant women and those with a deficiency of vital energy or yin. . Australian research indicates that camphor poisoning may inflict damaging effects on wildlife. The fruits are high in chemicals known to cause sterility in birds. C. camphora trees have been associated with fish kills and the absence of frogs in nearby wetlands. Camphor is a prolific seed producer that apparently does not have serious predators or diseases outside its native range. Seedlings and root sprouts are abundant near mature trees, but individual trees pop up far from seed sources.
Culture: Space 8-10' apart.
Soil: Minimum pH: 5.6 • Maximum pH: 7.8
Sunlight: Sun Exposure: Full Sun .
Temperature: Cold Hardiness: 8a, 8b, 9a. (map)
- Whittaker & Margulis,1978
- Haeckel, 1866
- Cavalier-Smith, 1981
- Sinnott, 1935 ex Cavalier-Smith, 1998
- Vascular Plants
- Kenrick & Crane, 1997
- Brongniart, 1843
- Novák ex Takhtajan, 1967
- (Perleb, 1826) Takhtajan, 1997
- Order: Laurales () - Perleb, 1826
- Superorder: Lauranae () - (Perleb, 1826) Takhtajan, 1997
- Subclass: Magnoliidae () - Novák ex Takhtajan, 1967
- Class: Spermatopsida () - Brongniart, 1843
- Infraphylum: Radiatopses () - Kenrick & Crane, 1997
- Subphylum: Euphyllophytina ()
- Phylum: Tracheophyta () - Sinnott, 1935 ex Cavalier-Smith, 1998 - Vascular Plants
- Subkingdom: Viridaeplantae () - Cavalier-Smith, 1981
- Kingdom: Plantae () - Haeckel, 1866 - Plants
Camphora camphora (L.) Karst. • Laurus camphora L.
Basionym : Lauraceae Laurus camphora L.Basionym author : (L.)
Members of the genus Cinnamomum
ZipcodeZoo has pages for 27 species, subspecies, varieties, forms, and cultivars in this genus:
C. aromaticum (Cassia Cinnamon) · C. bejolghota (and God´s Cinnamon) · C. burmanni (Padang Cassia) · C. burmannii (Malaysian Cinnamon) · C. burmannii f. heyneanum (Narrow-Leaved Batavia Cinnamon) · C. camphora (Camphor Laurel) · C. camphora var. procera (Japanese Camphor) · C. chekiangensis (Camphor Tree) · C. citriodorum (Malabar Cinnamon) · C. elongatum (Laurel Avispillo) · C. glanduliferum (False Camphor Tree) · C. iners (Wild Cinnamon) · C. japonicum (Japanese Cinnamon) · C. loureirii (Saigon Cassia) · C. loureiroi (Vietnamese Cinnamon) · C. macrocarpum (Medicinal Cinnamon) · C. malabathrum (Cinnamon (Western Ghats - India)) · C. mercadoi (Cinamomon) · C. mexicanum (Mexican Cinnamon) · C. montanum (Avispillo) · C. sessilifolium (Cinnamon) · C. sulphuratum (North-India Wild Cinnamon) · C. tamala (Indian Bark) · C. tamala var. albiflorum (Indian-Cassia) · C. tamala var. intermedium (Indian-Cassia) · C. verum (Ceylon Cinnamon Tree) · C. zeilanicum (Sri Lanka Cinnamon)
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- Vernacular list of trees, shrubs, and woody climbers in the Madras Presidency. Madras, Printed by the Superintendant, Government Press, 1915. url p. 414, p. 426.
- Veterinary medicines 1911 url p. 630.
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- Bisby, F.A., Y.R. Roskov, M.A. Ruggiero, T.M. Orrell, L.E. Paglinawan, P.W. Brewer, N. Bailly, J. van Hertum, eds (2007). Species 2000 and ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2007 Annual Checklist. Species 2000: Reading, U.K.
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Accessed through GBIF Data Portal November 21, 2007:
- Australian National Herbarium
- , Australian National Herbarium
- Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, Bishop Museum Natural History Specimen Data
- GBIF-Spain, Institut Botanic de Barcelona, BC
- GBIF-Spain, Real Jardin Botanico
- , Vascular Plant Herbarium
- Marine Science Institute, UCSB, Paleobiology Database
- Missouri Botanical Garden, Missouri Botanical Garden
- National Herbarium of New South Wales, NSW herbarium collection
- National Institute of Genetics, ROIS, Herbarium Specimens of Museum of Nature and Human Activities, Hyogo Pref., Japan
- Taiwan Biodiversity Information Facility, Magnoliophyta
- USDA PLANTS, USDA PLANTS Database
- University of Alabama Biodiversity and Systematics, Herbarium
- Biodiversity Heritage Library NamebankID: 2645124
- Catalogue of Life Accepted Name Code: ITS-18175
- Global Biodiversity Information Facility Taxonkey: 13810039
- Globally Unique Identifier: urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:77752-3
- GRIN Nomen Number: 10578
- Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) Taxonomic Serial Number (TSN): 18175
- International Plant Names Index (IPNI) ID: 77752-3
- Natural Heritage Network Species Identifier: PDLAU04010
- U.S.D.A. Plant Symbol: LACA12
- Zipcode Zoo Species Identifier: 17586