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Umbellularia californica (Headache tree)

Beginner
skill rating
1 hour care
per year
18m
Max height
12m
Max spread
20-50 years
To maturity
Low
Toxicity

Plant details

Botanical name

Umbellularia californica

Other names

Headache tree, Balm of heaven, Californian bay, Californian laurel, Californian olive tree, Californian sassafras tree, Californian spice tree, Oregon myrtle, Myrtle, Pepperwood, Bay laurel, Peppernut tree, Sassafras laurel, Cinnamon bush, Cajeput

Genus

Umbellularia Umbellularia

Species

U. californica - U. californica is a borderline hardy, rounded, often multi-stemmed, evergreen tree with strongly aromatic, leathery, elliptic to oblong, olive green leaves and umbels of small, salverform, yellow-green flowers from late winter into spring followed by ovoid, green fruit ripening reddish-purple to brown.


Umbellularia californica is: Evergreen

Habit

Multi-stemmed palm, cycad or tree, Rounded

Toxicity

The scent of the crushed leaves may cause headaches and/or nausea.

Flower

Yellow-green in Spring; Yellow-green in Winter

Foliage

Olive green in All seasons

How to care

Watch out for

General care

Pruning

Pruning group 1. Can be trained to form a single trunk by removing suckers as they appear.

Propagation methods

Semi-ripe cuttings, Seed


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Where to grow

Umbellularia californica (Headache tree) will reach a height of 18m and a spread of 12m after 20-50 years.

Suggested uses

Specimen tree, Mediterranean, Drought Tolerant, Containers, Coastal, City

Cultivation

Grow in any well-drained soil in sun. Plant in partial shade in areas with hot, dry summers. Tolerates clay. Needs shelter from cold, drying winds in frost-prone areas. Can be grown in a large container.

Soil type

Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types)

Soil drainage

Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Partial Shade, Full Sun

Aspect

South, East, West

Exposure

Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4), Tender in frost (H3)

Companion plants

We do not currently have companion plants added for this plant.

Botanical name

Umbellularia californica

Other names

Headache tree, Balm of heaven, Californian bay, Californian laurel, Californian olive tree, Californian sassafras tree, Californian spice tree, Oregon myrtle, Myrtle, Pepperwood, Bay laurel, Peppernut tree, Sassafras laurel, Cinnamon bush, Cajeput

Genus

Umbellularia Umbellularia

Species

U. californica - U. californica is a borderline hardy, rounded, often multi-stemmed, evergreen tree with strongly aromatic, leathery, elliptic to oblong, olive green leaves and umbels of small, salverform, yellow-green flowers from late winter into spring followed by ovoid, green fruit ripening reddish-purple to brown.

Native to

California, Oregon

Foliage

Evergreen

Habit

Multi-stemmed palm, cycad or tree, Rounded

Toxicity

The scent of the crushed leaves may cause headaches and/or nausea.


Colour

Flower

Yellow-green in Spring; Yellow-green in Winter

Foliage

Olive green in All seasons

General care

Pruning

Pruning group 1. Can be trained to form a single trunk by removing suckers as they appear.

Propagation methods

Semi-ripe cuttings, Seed


Monthly care advice


Where to grow

Umbellularia californica (Headache tree) will reach a height of 18m and a spread of 12m after 20-50 years.

Suggested uses

Specimen tree, Mediterranean, Drought Tolerant, Containers, Coastal, City

Cultivation

Grow in any well-drained soil in sun. Plant in partial shade in areas with hot, dry summers. Tolerates clay. Needs shelter from cold, drying winds in frost-prone areas. Can be grown in a large container.

Soil type

Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types)

Soil drainage

Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Partial Shade, Full Sun

Aspect

South, East, West

Exposure

Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4), Tender in frost (H3)

USDA zones

Zone 10, Zone 9, Zone 8, Zone 7

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This plant likes... Garden match
Soil types: Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types) Tell us...
Soil drainage: Well-drained Tell us...
Soil pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral Tell us...
Light: Partial Shade, Full Sun Tell us...
Aspect: South, East, West Tell us...
Exposure: Exposed, Sheltered Tell us...
Hardiness: Hardy (H4), Tender in frost (H3) Tell us...

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