Camphor Tree
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Camphor Tree
ntroduced Photo: Gurcharan Singh
Common name: Camphor Tree, Camphorwood, Camphor laurel • Bengali: Karpur • Hindi: कपूर Kapur • Kannada: Chandara, Davala, Dhavala, Kappara, Kapura • Malayalam: Chutakkarpuram, Ghanarasam, Himamsu, Himavaluka • Manipuri: ꯀꯔꯄꯨꯔꯥ Karpura • Marathi: कपूरा Kapoora • Nepali: कपुर Kapur • Oriya: ramokorpuro • Sanskrit: Chandraprabha, Chandrahba, Gandhadravya • Tamil: Chukantamaram • Telugu: Chandramu, Chandrasanguyamu • Urdu: Kafoor
Botanical name: Cinnamomum camphora    Family: Lauraceae (Laurel family)
Synonyms: Camphora officinarum, Laurus camphora

Camphor Tree is a large evergreen tree that grows up to 20-30 m tall. The leaves have a glossy, waxy appearance and smell of camphor when crushed. Alternately arranged 1-4 in long oval leaves dangle from long stalks. Each leaf has three distinct yellowish veins. The outer margins of the leaves tend to be somewhat wavy and turn upward. The new foliage starts out a rusty burgundy color, but the leaves soon turn dark green on the upper sides and paler green underneath. New branches emerging from the shallowly fissured grayish brown trunk are smooth and green. Twigs are usually green, but may be tinged with red when young. The inconspicuous tiny cream colored flowers are borne in the spring on branching 3 in flower stalks. They are followed by large crops of fruit, comprised of round pea sized berries attached to the branchlets by cuplike little green cones. The berries first turn reddish, then ripen to black. Camphor tree can be readily identified by the distinctive odor of a crushed leaf. Camphor Tree is native to China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and adjacent parts of East Asia. It is now cultivated in many parts of the world.

Identification credit: Gurcharan Singh Photographed in Panchkula & Kurukshetra, Haryana.

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