Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Cinnamomum camphora
(L.) J.Presl, Lauraceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  High risk, score: 7.5 (Go to the risk assessment)

Common name(s): [more details]

Chinese: zhang

English: camphor, camphor laurel, camphor tree, Japanese camphor, Japanese camphortree

French: camphre, camphrier

Japanese: kusu, kusu-no-ki, kusuno-ki

Korean: nognamu

Pohnpeian: madeu en wai

Spanish: alcanfor, alcanforero

Habit:  tree

Description:  "Evergreen large trees, up to 30 m tall, to 3 m d.b.h.; corona broadly ovate; whole plant strongly camphor-scented. Bark yellow-brown, irregularly and longitudinally fissured. Branchlets brownish, terete, glabrous. Terminal buds broadly ovoid; bud scales broadly ovate or suborbicular, sparsely sericeous outside. Leaves alternate; petiole slender, 2-3 cm, concave-convex, glabrous; leaf blade yellow-green or gray-green and glaucous abaxially, green or yellow-green and shiny adaxially, ovate-elliptic, 6-12 x  2.5-5.5 cm, subleathery, glabrous on both surfaces or sparsely puberulent abaxially only when young, triplinerved or sometimes inconspicuously 5-nerved, midrib conspicuous on both surfaces, lateral veins 1-5 (-7) pairs, basal veins with a few additional veins outside, axils of lateral veins and veins conspicuously dome-shaped and always villous abaxially, conspicuously bullate adaxially, base broadly cuneate or subrounded, margin cartilaginous, entire or sometimes undulate, apex acute. Panicle axillary, 3.5-7 cm; peduncle 2.5-4.5 cm, peduncle and rachis glabrous or gray- to yellow-brown puberulent especially on node. Pedicels 1-2 mm, glabrous. Flowers green-white or yellowish, ca. 3 mm. Perianth glabrous or puberulent outside, densely pubescent inside; perianth tube obconical, ca. 1 mm; perianth lobes elliptic, ca. 2 mm. Fertile stamens 9, ca. 2 mm; filaments pubescent. Ovary ovoid, ca. 1 mm, glabrous; style ca. 1 mm. Fruit purple-black, ovoid or subglobose, 6-8 mm in diameter; perianth cup in fruit cupuliform, ca. 5 mm, longitudinally sulcate, base ca. 1 mm wide, apex truncate and up to 4 mm wide." (Flora of China online).

Habitat/ecology:  "Rain forests, riparian habitats, bushland, wet sclerophyll forests.  The tree has an excellent adaptation to disturbed sites and easily becomes naturalized where planted.  The tree forms single-dominant stands that delay or preclude native rainforest regeneration"  (Weber, 2003; p. 107).  Develops extensive monospecific stands which prevent regeneration of native trees and shrubs.

In New Caledonia, "cette espèce introduite s'acclimate et puisse se multiplier spontanément" (Kostermans, 1974; p. 29). In Queensland, Australia, "extensive monospecific stands have developed along the banks of creeks and rivers preventing regeneration of native tree and shrub species.  It is particularly well-adapted to areas formerly covered by rainforest."  (Csurhes & Edwards, 1998; p. 100).  In the Blue Mountains, Australia, "invades moist bushland slopes and gullies, creating dense shade, competing with and taking over from native species, and continuing to inhibit their regeneration even after its removal"  (Weeds of Blue Mountains bushland).

Propagation:  Seeds dispersed by frugivorous birds and also by water. Seeds voided by birds germinate readily and remain viable for up to three years. (Csurhes & Edwards, 1998; p. 100).

Native range:  Japan (including Ryukyu Islands), Taiwan (GRIN).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia (Pacific offshore islands)
Lord Howe Island
Lord Howe Island introduced
Pickard, J. (1984) (p. 207)
Australia (Pacific offshore islands)
Lord Howe Island
Lord Howe Island introduced
invasive
Orchard, Anthony E., ed. (1994) (p. 20)
Voucher cited: J. Pickard 3456 (NSW)
Australia (Pacific offshore islands)
Norfolk Islands
Norfolk Island introduced
invasive
Orchard, Anthony E., ed. (1994) (p. 20)
"On Norfolk Is. according to W.R.Sykes (Annual J. Roy. New Zealand Inst. Hort. 8: 53, 1980) it occurs in the Hundred Acre Reserve, where it 'spreads extensively from suckers' - presumably from planted trees".
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Rarotonga Island cultivated
Sykes, Bill (year unknown)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Rarotonga Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1929) (voucher ID: BISH 151356)
Taxon name on voucher: Cinnamomum camphora (L.) J.Presl
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Rarotonga Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1991) (voucher ID: BISH 665314)
Taxon name on voucher: Cinnamomum camphora (L.) J.Presl
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Rarotonga Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (1985) (voucher ID: PTBG 37293)
Taxon name on voucher: Cinnamomum camphora (L.) J. Presl
Federated States of Micronesia
Pohnpei Islands
Pohnpei Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 80)
Federated States of Micronesia
Pohnpei Islands
Pohnpei Island introduced
cultivated
Herrera, Katherine/Lorence, David H./Flynn, Timothy/Balick, Michael J. (2010) (p. 103)
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island introduced
cultivated
Smith, Albert C. (1981) (p. 122)
Voucher cited: DA 8302
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Ua Huka (Huahuna, Uahuka) Island introduced
cultivated
Lorence, David H./Wagner, Warren L. (2013)
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Ua Huka (Huahuna, Uahuka) Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (2003) (voucher ID: PTBG 40854)
Taxon name on voucher: Cinnamomum camphora
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Moorea Island introduced
cultivated
Falanruw, Marjorie C./Maka, Jean E./Cole, Thomas G./Whitesell, Craig D. (1990) (pp. 146-147)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Moorea Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Voucher cited: J. Florence 9907 (PAP)
Cultivée
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Moorea Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1989) (voucher ID: BISH 601495)
Taxon name on voucher: Cinnamomum camphora (L.) J.Presl
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Raiatea (Havai) Island introduced
cultivated
Falanruw, Marjorie C./Maka, Jean E./Cole, Thomas G./Whitesell, Craig D. (1990) (pp. 146-147)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
cultivated
Welsh, S. L. (1998) (p. 132)
Voucher cited: Grant 4348
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
cultivated
Falanruw, Marjorie C./Maka, Jean E./Cole, Thomas G./Whitesell, Craig D. (1990) (pp. 146-147)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Cultivée
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
cultivated
Stone, Benjamin C. (1970) (p. 282)
Rare if still present.
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 80)
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1954) (voucher ID: BISH 151361)
Taxon name on voucher: Cinnamomum camphora (L.) J.Presl
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1918) (voucher ID: BISH 151362)
Taxon name on voucher: Cinnamomum camphora (L.) J.Presl
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Kaua‘i Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 846)
Occasional escape.
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Lāna‘i Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 846)
Occasional escape.
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 846)
Occasional escape.
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 846)
Voucher cited: MacDaniels 371 (BISH)
Occasional escape.
Japan (offshore islands)
Ogasawara (Bonin) Islands
Bonin (Ogasawara) Islands introduced
Kato, Hidetoshi (2007)
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre introduced
cultivated
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 71)
Vouchers cited: MacKee 23935, Suprin 549
New Zealand (offshore islands)
Kermadec Islands
Raoul Island introduced
cultivated
Sykes, W. R. (1977) (p. 111)
New Zealand (offshore islands)
Kermadec Islands
Raoul Island introduced
cultivated
Sykes, W. R./West, C. J. (1996) (p. 459)
Died out naturally.
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia
Australia (continental)
New South Wales introduced
invasive
cultivated
Csurhes, S./Edwards, R. (1998) (p. 100)
Australia
Australia (continental)
Queensland introduced
invasive
cultivated
Csurhes, S./Edwards, R. (1998) (p. 100)
China
China
China (People's Republic of) introduced
cultivated
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
Cultivated in valleys and on mountain slopes. South of Chang Jiang river.
China
China
Hong Kong native
Wu, Te-lin (2001) (p. 42)
Japan
Japan
Japan (country) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Japan
Ryukyu Islands
Ryukyu Islands native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
North Korea
North Korea
North Korea (Democratic People's Republic of) introduced
cultivated
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
South Korea
South Korea
South Korea (Republic of) introduced
cultivated
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore (Republic of) introduced
cultivated
Chong, Kwek Yan/Tan, Hugh T. W./Corlett, Richard T. (2009) (p. 26)
Cultivated only
Taiwan
Taiwan Island
Taiwan Island native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
United States (west coast)
United States (west coast states)
USA (California) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)
Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam (Socialist Republic of) introduced
cultivated
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Indian Ocean
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
La Réunion (France)
La Réunion Island
La Réunion Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Lavergne, Christophe (2006)
"Cultivé/±envahissant"
Also reported from
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
United States (other states) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
USA (Florida) introduced
invasive
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)

Comments:  Planted for the fragrant wood, from which oil of camphor may be extracted. A problem species in Florida and Australia. In Queensland, it is considered to be the most important threat to the conservation of remnant native forests (Garraty, cited in Csurhes & Edwards, 1998; p. 100).

Planting of this species is prohibited in Miami-Dade County, Florida (U.S.) (Miami-Dade County Dept. of Planning and Zoning, 2010).

Control: 

Physical:  "Control of this tree on cultivated ground has relied on intensive grazing.  Seedlings can be hand removed".

Chemical:  "Cutting trees requires treating the cut stumps with herbicides because of rapid regeneration from stumps.  Young plants can be treated with 2,4-D esters and 2,4,5-T.  Larger plants can be killed by a basal bark or cut stump application of the same herbicides"  (Weber, 2003; p. 107).


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This page was created on 1 JAN 1999 and was last updated on 4 JUL 2012.