Lauraceae (laurel family) Cinnamomum

Cinnamomum camphora camphor tree

Eastern Asia
Swollen lignotuber and roots of the ancient camphor in the Inner Quad. Sairus Patel, 10 Mar 2022
Cinnamomum camphora, Inner Quad. Irene Beardsley, 20 Mar 2003

A member of the laurel family, which like all such members (for example the California laurel) contains aromatic essential oils. Crush a leaf and smell it. Camphor is distilled from the wood. The shiny green leaves are distinctive, helping to identify the tree at a distance. Small yellow flowers are followed by black berries containing a seed. Two venerable but declining patriarchs dating to before 1955 are in the inner northeast island of the Quad, their large swollen lignotubers and surface roots pushing out the low enclosing wall. Several are in front of Encina Hall, and many are on Embarcadero Road near Newell Road, Palo Alto.

Cinnamomum camphora. From An Illustrated Manual of Pacific Coast Trees, Howard E. McMinn & Evelyn Maino

About this Entry: The main text of this entry is from the book Trees of Stanford and Environs, by Ronald Bracewell, published 2005. Edits; not yet ready to use Camphora officinarum (Jan 2024, SP).