Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Cinnamomum camphora (L.) Nees & Eberm.

Frost tender, erect to spreading tree with aromatic, boldly-veined, glossy, ovate leaves, reddish when young, and clusters of small, bowl-shaped, greenish flowers in spring and summer, followed by black berries.  To 20m.  [RHSE, Hilliers’].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘It is a native of Japan, where it grows into a stately tree, which Kaempfer compares to the European Lime or Linden Tree.  Every part of the tree, but more especially the root abounds with camphor, which the peasantry prepare from it by a rude distillation.  It is exported to the East Indies and to Europe, where it is refined by sublimation, and comes to our market in large cakes, freed from all impurities.’  [BM t.2658/1826].  Introduced to Europe in 1727.  [PD].

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [T.629/1843].  Probably a very early introduction to the gardens, possibly with the intent of assessing its commercial possibilities..  Edward Macarthur provided seed to the Sydney Botanic Garden in 1823.  [RBGS AB].  A weed in parts of the Sydney region and north into Queensland.


Published Mar 03, 2010 - 11:30 AM | Last updated Jul 25, 2010 - 04:04 PM

Figured are lance-shaped, glossy leaves and terminal raceme of small greenish flowers. Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.2658, 1826.

Cinnamomum camphora (L.) Nees & Eberm. | BM t.2658/1826 | BHL

Family Lauraceae
Region of origin

Tropical Asia

  • Laurus camphora L.
Common Name

Camphor tree, Camphor laurel

Name in the Camden Park Record

Laurus camphora - Camphor Laurel 

Confidence level high