Weed Identification

Australia > > Camphor Laurel

Camphor Laurel

Cinnamomum camphora

Family: Lauraceae.

Form: Tree

Origin: Native of China, Japan and Taiwan.

Flowers/Seedhead: Flowers: White, in branched heads (panicles), each flower about 3 mm long. Flowers spring and summer.

Description: Evergreen hardy spreading tree to 20 m high. Bark greyish, with numerous fissures. Leaves ovate, 511 cm long, 25 cm wide, glossy on upper surface; small depressions on the lower surface (domatia) between the bases of the 3 main veins. Fruit spherical, shining black, about 1 cm wide, ripening late autumn.

Distinguishing features: Distinguished by aromatic camphor oil smell when leaves are crushed; alternate leaves with leaf stalks 1.54 cm long; flowers with 6 petal-like lobes; base of fruit on an expanded part of the fruit stalk (receptacle).

Dispersal: Seed distributed by birds and water.

Mature leaves & fruit
Inset: Seedling

Notes: Common park and shade tree. Now extensively naturalised and in some localities a major problem of grazing land, disturbed rainforest and urban bushland. Especially invasive of stream banks, reducing light and crowding out other species. In some areas forms a monoculture for the entire length of a watercourse. Aromatic oil, camphor, is produced by distillation. This oil possibly causes death of fish and invertebrates. Wood is valued for carving and some types of furniture.


    Reference: Flora of NSW. G. Harden (ed), Vol. 1, 1990, page 144.

Trees on a stream, Coffs Harbour, NSW


This weed has been included in the WEEDeck field guide as card T01

More information about WEEDeck is available from Sainty & Associates Pty. Ltd.


Australia > > Camphor Laurel


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