Umbellularia californica
um-bel-you-LAIR-ee-uh kal-ih-FORN-ih-kuh

California Laurel, California Bay,
Oregon Myrtle, Pepperwood

Lauraceae (Laurel family)
Origin: Western U.S., 1829

 

Street Tree Division
City of Los Angeles - Department of Public Works
Bureau of Street Services

Species characteristics:
Form - Evergreen. Dense, arching, medium to large tree with a broad, round-topped crown. Slow to medium growth to 60' tall and as wide.

Trunk - Dark gray bark becoming fissured with age. Trunk is usually enlarged with a basal flare.

Foliage - Leathery lanceolate simple leaves, 2 - 3" long and
3/4 - 1 1/4" wide, arranged alternately. Leaves are glossy dark green, glabrous above, and dull light green beneath, with a strong aromatic bay rum odor.

Flowers/fruit - Tiny, cup-shaped, yellow green flowers in clusters in April and May. Olive-shaped 1" long one-seeded fruits, hanging in groups of 2 or 3, are yellow green to purplish brown at maturity.

No significant pest problems.

Site suitability:
Sunset zones - 4 - 10 and 12 - 24.

Clearances -Suitable for 5 - 6' palkways or 5 x 5' cutouts.

Good for streetsides, medians, paIks and lawns.

Culture considerations:
Tolerant of many conditions including deep shade and drought.