Trees by Genus

Genus 'Umbellularia'

Umbellularia californica

Umbellularia californica (Californian Laurel)

Umbellularia californica

Also known as: California Bay, Headache Tree

Native: Coastal region of California and Oregon

Location: Sometimes grown in collections and gardens in Europe

Yielded a valuable timber, useful for house interiors. Its foliage is strongly aromatic when crushed and is said to induce a sharp headache after inhaling it. Sometimes shrubby.


Leaves are smooth and uniformly pale green. They fade to yellow or orange before falling in their second season. They have a powerful spicy smell.


Umbellularia californica

Flowers open in January (much later in cooler climates) in two to four clusters of about 10. Each flower is about 0.6cm across.


Umbellularia californica

Fruits are about 2.5cm long and ripen from yellowish green in August and September.