Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Camphortree - Cinnamomum camphora

Camphortree - Cinnamomum camphora, is a small to mid sized evergreen that can reach heights of up to 60 feet tall.  It grows in an erect form generally with a single short trunk, sometimes producing several secondary trunks from the base.  The tree generally has a dense crown that grows in an oval form, with lustrous often low spreading branches that become more or less ascending with time.  Native to Asia, it is now naturalized on disturbed sites, vacant lots, roadsides, upland woodlands, and fence lines from Southeastern North Carolina, South through Georgia and Florida and West through Eastern Texas.  There are over 200 species of Cinnamomum recorded, most of which are native to India, China and Japan.  

Image Citation: Forest and Kim Starr, Starr Environmental,

The leaves of the Camphortree are alternate, simple in shape, and somewhat leathery at maturity.  The leaves and bark give off a camphor like aroma when crushed.  The bark is dark cinnamon brown to dark steel in color and becomes deeply furrowed with age.  The flowers are bisexual and tiny in size 1-2  mm in diameter, with 6 green-white or creamy tepals occurring in the Spring annually.  The fruit is a lustrous black drupe 8-9 mm in diameter and born in a cup like receptacle, maturing in Autumn to Winter annually.

Image Citation: James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service,

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