Cinnamomum camphora - (L.)J.Presl.
Common Name Camphor, Camphortree
Family Lauraceae
USDA hardiness 9-11
Known Hazards The plant is poisonous in large quantities[4]. Large doses can cause respiratory failure in children[268]. See the report below on medicinal uses for more information.
Habitats Banks of streams in China[109], to elevations of 750 metres[268].
Range E. Asia - China, Japan.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating  
Half Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

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Bloom Color: Yellow. Main Bloom Time: Early spring, Late spring, Mid spring. Form: Rounded.

Cinnamomum camphora Camphor, Camphortree

Cinnamomum camphora Camphor, Camphortree
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of cone
Cinnamomum camphora is an evergreen Tree growing to 6 m (19ft) by 6 m (19ft) at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 9 and is frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Mar to June. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Diptera.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid and very alkaline soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Camphora officinarum. Laurus camphora.

Woodland Garden Secondary; Sunny Edge; South Wall. By. West Wall. By.
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Leaves.
Edible Uses: Condiment.

Young shoots and leaves - cooked[105, 177]. Some caution is suggested because there is a report that the plant is poisonous in large quantities. The old leaves are dried and used as a spice[105, 177].
Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Analgesic;  Anthelmintic;  Antianxiety;  Antiarrhythmic;  Antirheumatic;  Antispasmodic;  Aromatherapy;  Cardiotonic;  
Carminative;  Deodorant;  Diaphoretic;  Odontalgic;  Rubefacient;  Sedative;  Stimulant;  

Camphor has a long history of herbal use in the Orient with a wide range of uses. It has occasionally been used internally in the treatment of hysteria, but in modern day herbalism it is mainly used as the essential oil and internal use is not advised[254]. The wood and leaves are analgesic, antispasmodic, odontalgic, rubefacient, stimulant. An infusion is used as an inhalant in the treatment of colds and diseases of the lungs[46, 57, 176, 178, 238]. The plant is more commonly used in the form of the essential oil which can be obtained by distillation of the chipped branches, trunk and wood of the tree, or from the leaves and twigs. Wood 24 - 40 years old is normally used[268]. The essential oil is anthelmintic, antirheumatic, antispasmodic, cardiotonic, carminative, diaphoretic, sedative and tonic[4, 218, 238, 240]. It is used externally in liniments for treating joint and muscle pains, balms for chilblains, chapped lips, cold sores, skin diseases etc and as an inhalant for bronchial congestion[238]. Some caution is advised, excessive use causes vomiting, palpitations, convulsions and death[238]. It is possible that the oil can be absorbed through the skin, causing systemic poisoning[238]. The essential oil is used in aromatherapy. Its keyword is 'Piercing'[210]. It is used in the treatment of digestive complaints and depression[238]. The German Commission E Monographs, a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine, approve Cinnamomum camphora for Arrhythmia, Cough/bronchitis, Hypotension, Nervous heart complaints, Rheumatism.


Other Uses
Deodorant;  Essential;  Preservative;  Repellent;  Wood.

The essential oil 'camphor' is obtained from the leaves and twigs[1, 4, 46, 57, 61]. It is extracted commercially by passing a current of steam through the wood chips, 30 kilos of wood yielding 1 kilo of camphor[149]. Camphor is used medicinally, in perfumes, as an insecticide and also to make celluloid and as a wood preservative[171]. It can also be put in shoes to cure perspiring feet[178] (probably by acting as a deodorant rather than preventing perspiration[K]). The wood has been burnt as a fumigant during epidemics[245]. Wood - beautifully grained, light brownish, takes a good polish[266]. It is used for making furniture, cabinets, the interior finish of buildings etc[4, 46, 266].
Cultivation details
Agroforestry Services: Crop shade;  Agroforestry Services: Windbreak;  Management: Coppice;  Minor Global Crop.

Landscape Uses:Pest tolerant, Aggressive surface roots possible, Street tree. Succeeds in most soils[57] but prefers a fertile sandy moisture-retentive well-drained soil in full sun or light part-day shade[200]. Tolerates a pH in the range 4.3 to 8. Camphor is grown commercially in China and Japan as a medicinal tree and also for its essential oil[46]. It is only hardy in the milder areas of Britain[11, 166], though it can survive occasional lows down to about -10°c when fully dormant[57]. The young growth in spring, even on mature plants, is frost-tender and so it is best to grow the plants in a position sheltered from the early morning sun[K]. There are various large trees that are growing well in Cornwall[59]. A very slow growing tree[4]. The roots are very sensitive to disturbance[164]. There are some named varieties, selected for their ornamental value[200]. Special Features: Fragrant foliage, Not North American native, Invasive, Naturalizing, Attracts butterflies, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.
Seed - the seed has a short viability and is best sown as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse[200]. Remove the fruit pulp since this can inhibit germination[200]. Germination can take 1 - 6 months at 20°c[164]. Stored seed should be sown as soon as possible in a warm greenhouse[78]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Consider giving them some protection from the cold for at least their first two winters outdoors. Cuttings of semi-ripe side shoots, 7cm with a heel, June/July in a frame with bottom heat[78].
Other Names
commonly known as camphor tree, camphorwood or camphor laurel, Ai-kanfor, Camphor, Ho wood, Kapoor, Kapur, Karppuram, Karpur, Karpurammu, Kuqmiqsail, Mushkapur, Noknamu, Pohon kapur barus, Zhang, Zhangshu.
Found In
Africa, Asia, Australia, Central America, China, Cuba, East Africa, East Timor, Europe, Fiji, Haiti, Hawaii, India, Indochina, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Laos, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, North America, Pacific, Pakistan, Sao Tome and Principe, SE Asia, South Africa, Southern Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Turkey, USA, Vietnam, Zimbabwe.
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

This plant can be weedy or invasive. A noxious weed throughout Queensland and central to northern New South Wales, Australia where it is suited to the wet, subtropical climate. It is invasive in Florida and Hawaii in the US.
Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed.
Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Cinnamomum loureiroiSaigon Cinnamon43
Cinnamomum verumCinnamon, Ceylon Cinnamon Tree43


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Subject : Cinnamomum camphora  

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