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Uses

Toxic parts

The foliage can cause skin irritations[1][2]. A volatile oil in the leaves can cause sneezing and headaches if inhaled[2].

Edible uses

Notes

Seed - cooked[3]. It can be roasted and eaten or can be ground into a powder that is used with cereal flours in making bread[4][5][6][7]. A bitter quality in the seed is dispensed by roasting or parching the seed[8][9].

Fruit - raw or cooked[3]. The leaves are used as a condiment in cooked foods. They are a bayleaf substitute but with a much stronger flavour[10][11][12]. Used for flavouring soups, stews etc[7]. A tea is obtained from the leaves[10].

A coffee substitute is obtained from the root bark[9][7].

Unknown part

Fruit

Material uses

The leaves are used as an insect repellent, they are especially effective against fleas[4][8][11][13][14]. They have disinfectant properties and contain small quantities of camphor[13][14]. The leaves are burnt as a fumigant to get rid of fleas[3].

The leaves have been hung in bunches to freshen the air[3]. The aroma of the leaves gives some people headaches[K]. An essential oil is obtained from the leaves by steam distillation[2][15][16][17]. Beige and green dyes are obtained from the fruits (used without the seeds). Very aromatic, the dye retains its fragrance for many years[18].

Wood - hard, close grained, heavy, strong, takes a high polish. A beautifully textured wood, it is used for high quality cabinet making, panelling etc[16][17][11][19].

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

California laurel was employed medicinally by some native North American Indian tribes who used it particularly as an analgesic to treat a variety of complaints[3]. It is still occasionally used in modern herbalism, being valued for its beneficial effect upon the digestive system.

The leaves are analgesic, antirheumatic, nervine and stomachic[8][11][13][12][3]. Although the aroma of the leaves is known to cause headaches, they have also been used as an infusion and a poultice to treat this affliction[8][11][13][12][3]. The leaves are also used internally to treat neuralgia, intestinal cramps and gastro-enteritis[12]. An infusion has been used by women to ease the pains of afterbirth[3]. Externally, an infusion has been used as a bath in the treatment of rheumatism[3]. A decoction of the leaves has been used as a wash on sores and to remove vermin from the head[3]. They are harvested as required and can be used fresh or dried[12]. A poultice of the ground seeds has been used to treat sores[3].

The seeds have been eaten as a stimulant[3].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Canopy

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - it has a limited viability and is best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a greenhouse[20]. Stored seed should be sown as early in the year as possible in the greenhouse. In the wild the seed germinates as soon as it falls to the ground in the autumn[17]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the 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.

Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 7 - 10cm with a heel, July/August in a shaded frame. Pot up in spring. Good percentage[21][20].

Layering.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Umbellularia californica. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Requires a well-drained moisture retentive lime-free soil in a sunny position[20]. Prefers an abundant supply of moisture in the growing season[17].

Older plants are hardy to about -15°c when growing in a position that is sheltered from cold drying winds, but young plants require some frost protection[20]. Even mature plants can be damaged in severe winters[1]. The leaves are harvested commercially in California and sold as a bay-leaf substitute[7]. The leaves emit a powerful camphor-like scent when bruised[22]. So strong is the aroma that it can cause headaches and dizziness[22].

A very large and beautiful tree fruited regularly at Kew, producing viable seed, until it was blown down in the severe storms of October 1987[K].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Umbellularia californica. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Umbellularia californica.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Umbellularia californica
Genus
Umbellularia
Family
Lauraceae
Imported References
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
7
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
no shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    Herbaceous or Woody
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    Mature Size
    Fertility
    ?
    Pollinators
    ?
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type

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    "image:Umbellularia californica 01.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Umbellularia californica 01.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.


    "image:Umbellularia californica 01.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    "image:Umbellularia californica 01.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

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    References

    1. ? 1.01.1 F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    2. ? 2.02.12.22.32.4 Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981-00-00)
    3. ? 3.003.013.023.033.043.053.063.073.083.093.103.113.123.133.14 Moerman. D. Native American Ethnobotany Timber Press. Oregon. ISBN 0-88192-453-9 (1998-00-00)
    4. ? 4.04.14.24.3 Elias. T. and Dykeman. P. A Field Guide to N. American Edible Wild Plants. Van Nostrand Reinhold ISBN 0442222009 (1982-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.1 Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World. Keigaku Publishing (1976-00-00)
    6. ? 6.06.1 Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption. Koeltz Scientific Books ISBN 3874292169 (1984-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.17.27.37.4 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
    8. ? 8.08.18.28.38.48.58.6 Balls. E. K. Early Uses of Californian Plants. University of California Press ISBN 0-520-00072-2 (1975-00-00)
    9. ? 9.09.19.2 Yanovsky. E. Food Plants of the N. American Indians. Publication no. 237. U.S. Depf of Agriculture. ()
    10. ? 10.010.110.2 Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-20459-6 (1972-00-00)
    11. ? 11.011.111.211.311.411.511.611.7 Sweet. M. Common Edible and Useful Plants of the West. Naturegraph Co. ISBN 0-911010-54-8 (1962-00-00)
    12. ? 12.012.112.212.312.412.512.6 Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
    13. ? 13.013.113.213.313.413.5 Saunders. C. F. Edible and Useful Wild Plants of the United States and Canada. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-23310-3 (1976-00-00)
    14. ? 14.014.114.2 Buchanan. R. A Weavers Garden. ()
    15. ? 15.015.1 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
    16. ? 16.016.116.2 Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
    17. ? 17.017.117.217.317.4 Sargent. C. S. Manual of the Trees of N. America. Dover Publications Inc. New York. ISBN 0-486-20278-X (1965-00-00)
    18. ? 18.018.1 Grae. I. Nature's Colors - Dyes from Plants. MacMillan Publishing Co. New York. ISBN 0-02-544950-8 (1974-00-00)
    19. ? 19.019.1 Elias. T. The Complete Trees of N. America. Field Guide and Natural History. Van Nostrand Reinhold Co. ISBN 0442238622 (1980-00-00)
    20. ? 20.020.120.220.320.4 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    21. ? Sheat. W. G. Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers. MacMillan and Co (1948-00-00)
    22. ? 22.022.1 Genders. R. Scented Flora of the World. Robert Hale. London. ISBN 0-7090-5440-8 (1994-00-00)

    "image:Umbellularia californica 01.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    Facts about "Umbellularia californica"RDF feed
    Article is incompleteYes +
    Article requires citationsNo +
    Article requires cleanupYes +
    Belongs to familyLauraceae +
    Belongs to genusUmbellularia +
    Has binomial nameUmbellularia californica +
    Has common nameCalifornia Laurel +
    Has drought toleranceIntolerant +
    Has edible partUnknown part +, Fruit + and Seed +
    Has edible useCoffee +, Condiment + and Unknown use +
    Has flowers of typeHermaphrodite +
    Has growth rateModerate +
    Has hardiness zone7 +
    Has imageUmbellularia californica 01.jpg +
    Has lifecycle typePerennial +
    Has material partUnknown part +
    Has material useDye +, Essential +, Incense +, Repellent + and Wood +
    Has mature height25 +
    Has mature width10 +
    Has medicinal partUnknown part +
    Has medicinal useAnalgesic +, Antirheumatic +, Nervine +, Poultice +, Salve +, Stimulant + and Stomachic +
    Has primary imageUmbellularia californica 01.jpg +
    Has search nameumbellularia californica + and california laurel +
    Has shade toleranceNo shade +
    Has soil ph preferenceAcid + and Neutral +
    Has soil texture preferenceSandy +, Loamy + and Clay +
    Has soil water retention preferenceWell drained +
    Has sun preferenceFull sun +
    Has taxonomic rankSpecies +
    Has taxonomy nameUmbellularia californica +
    Has water requirementsmoderate +
    Inhabits ecosystem nicheCanopy +
    Is deciduous or evergreenEvergreen +
    Is herbaceous or woodyWoody +
    Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
    PFAF cultivation notes migratedNo +
    PFAF edible use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF material use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF medicinal use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF propagation notes migratedNo +
    PFAF toxicity notes migratedNo +
    Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
    Uses mature size measurement unitMeters +
    Has subobjectThis property is a special property in this wiki.Umbellularia californica +, Umbellularia californica +, Umbellularia californica +, Umbellularia californica +, Umbellularia californica +, Umbellularia californica +, Umbellularia californica +, Umbellularia californica +, Umbellularia californica +, Umbellularia californica +, Umbellularia californica +, Umbellularia californica +, Umbellularia californica +, Umbellularia californica +, Umbellularia californica + and Umbellularia californica +