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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 3 | Lauraceae | Cinnamomum

1. Cinnamomum camphora (Linnaeus) J. Presl in F. Berchtold & J. S. Presl, Prir. Rostlin. 2: 47. 1825.

Camphor tree

Laurus camphora Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 369. 1753; Camphora camphora (Linnaeus) H. Karsten

Trees , to 15 m. Branches terete, glabrous, terminal and axillary buds covered by imbricate bracts, young twigs with clusters of scars from fallen bracts. Leaves alternate; petiole to 3 cm. Leaf blade ovate to elliptic or elliptic-lanceolate, with (1-)3 primary veins, 7-12 × 3-5 cm, base rounded to cuneate, apex sharply acute; surfaces glabrous except for pubescent domatia in axils of main lateral veins. Flowers: tepals greenish white, 1-2 mm, glabrous abaxially, pubescent adaxially; stamens arranged in outer whorl of 6 (actually 2 whorls of 3) and inner whorl of 3. Drupe to 9 mm diam. 2 n = 24.

Flowering spring (Apr-May). Moist subtropical areas, including the Gulf Coast; 0-150 m; introduced; Ala., Miss., Fla., Ga., La., N.C., S.C., Tex.; native, e Asia.

Cinnamomum camphora is naturalized locally in the flora. Its crushed leaves have a strong smell of camphor. This species yields commercial camphor.

The name Cinnamomum camphora (Linnaeus) T. Nees & C. H. Ebermaier is nomenclaturally invalid.


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