Umbellularia californica Santa Clara County

Caifornia Bay Laurel Santa Clara County

Plant Type: Tree
Sun: Partial Shade, Sun
Drainage: Medium, Well-draining
Water: Naturalize, Occasional, Regular
Height X Width: 70' X 40'
Santa Clara County Local: Yes
What do these mean?



The bay laurel is one of California’s most distinctive trees. It grows in mountainous regions throughout the California Floristic Province, but is especially common in the SF Bay Area. The bay laurel will take an oval shape, though this will depend somewhat on the growing conditions. If in an open setting with adequate water it can grow to 80 feet or more. A particularly large specimen towers to 126 feet along the Permanente Creek Trail in the Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve in Palo Alto. The fragrant evergreen leaves are reminiscent of the Eurasian laurel tree, Laurus nobilis. to which the California bay laurel is distantly related. Small white flowers are followed by small edible fruit (the seed may be roasted). In the garden, a California bay laurel can serve many purposes, from a manicured hedge to a focal point tree of medium height. It is extremely adaptable to a variety of growing conditions. It is drought tolerant but also responds well to summer irrigation. The California bay laurel is perhaps the only native tree that contributes to the spice rack; the fragrant leaves may be used in a variety of dishes. These trres were grown from seed collected in the Los Gatos Creek watershed, Santa Clara County


Deer Resistant: Yes
Attractive to Bees: Yes
Attractive to Butterflies: Yes
Good Under Oaks: No
Evergreen or Deciduous: Evergreen