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Common Name:

Camphor Tree

Scientific Name:

Cinnamomum camphora

Family Name:



Camphor Tree is a medium to large evergreen shade tree used in subtropcial to tropical climates. It is common along the Gulf Coast and Lower Rio Grande Valley. This tree resembles a Live Oak in growth habit with handsome glossy green camphor scented leaves. It can become weedy on favorable sites. In colder areas it may persist as a dieback shrub.

Plant Habit or Use:

Medium tree, large tree


sun, partial sun

Flower Color:

Yellow-green, not ornamental

Blooming Period:

Spring, summer

Fruit Characteristics:

Pea-sided shiny black berries


30 ft to 50 ft in our region, to 100 ft in tropics


40 ft to 60 ft, more in tropics

Earth–Kind® Index:

  • Heat Tolerance: High Heat Tolerance
  • Water Requirements: Medium Water Use
  • Soil Requirements: Medium Soil Requirements
  • Pest Tolerance: High Pest Resistance
  • Fertility Requirements: Low Fertility Requirements
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown

Firewise Index

Explanation of the Firewise Index numerical value

USDA Hardiness Zones:

9, 10, 11

Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Region E - Upper Rio Grande Region F - Hill Country and Central Coast Region G - Southeast Texas Region H - Rio Grande Valley
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones

Additional Comments:

Either a handsome shade tree or an invasive trash tree depending upon your perspective and location.
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A Special Note about Cool Season Annuals

Cool season annuals typically are planted in the fall or early winter and flower in early spring under moderate temperatures. This group of plant materials includes: pansies, snapdragons, violas, dianthus, flowering cabbage/kale, etc. Because cool season annuals flower in the spring when conditions are mild, most have limited heat tolerance.

As a result cool season annuals do not receive a high Earth–Kind® index despite their outstanding landscape qualities.