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 are in the inner northeast island of the Quad, several are in front of Encina Hall, and many are on Embarcadero Road near Newell Road, Palo Alto.
About this Entry: The main text of this entry is from the book Trees of Stanford and Environs, by Ronald Bracewell, published 2005.