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California Laurel, Oregon Myrtle
Scientific Name: Umbellularia californica (Hook. & Arn.) Nutt.
Synonym:
Family: Lauraceae
California Laurel, Oregon Myrtle (Umbellularia  californica)
"Umbellularia californica", U.S.D.A Forest Service, Courtesy of the Hunt Institute
Recommended Temperature Zone:
sunset: 4-10,12-24
USDA: 7-10

Sun Exposure: Full sun to part sun

Origin: Mountain ranges of the US West Coast, from Oregon to San Diego County, California, up to 6000 feet elevation (1800 m)

Growth Habits: Evergreen tree, slow growing to 40 to 80 feet tall (12-24 m); trunk 2 to 5 feet in diameter (60-150 cm); rather thin, reddish-brown bark, somewhat scaly when mature, up to 1 inch thick (2.5 cm); dark green and shiny leaves, very aromatic when crushed, 3 to 5 inches long (7.5-12.5 cm), paler and smooth underside

Watering Needs: Little to regular water

Propagation: Seeds, suckers, self sows


The California laurel litters a lot and has invasive roots. This limits somewhat its use. The very pungent leaves can be used to replace the sweet bay in cooking, although their scent is stronger.
The genus name 'Umbellularia' comes from the Latin for 'small umbel', referring to the inflorescence.

Blooming Habits:
Inconspicuous, small and yellowish flowers in clusters.

Fruiting Habits:
Inedible bluish-black, olive-like fruits with yellow stalks, about 0.8 inch in diameter (2 cm).


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Desert-Tropicals is dedicated to provide gardening advice, gardening ideas, and information about flower of all kind for landscape and collections. We try to check carefully the identification of the plants on the illustrations as well as the other information from the page, but occasionally errors do occur. if you notice anything that needs to be changed please contact us. Thanks.

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