Umbellularia californica (Californian Laurel)
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.
Flowers open in January (much later in cooler climates) in two to four clusters of about 10. Each flower is about 0.6cm across.
Fruits are about 2.5cm long and ripen from yellowish green in August and September.