Botanical Name: Umbellularia californica
Common Name: California Bay or Laurel, Oregon My  
Plant photo of: Umbellularia californica
Previous Photo     Next Photo

Water Saving Tip:

Replace turf with groundcovers, trees, and shrubs. If you have areas where no one uses the grass, patches that do not grow well, or a turf area too small to water without runoff, consider replacing the turf with water-efficient landscaping.

California Native Plant
  • Anatomy

  • Culture

  • Design

Plant Type

Tree, Shrub


Height Range



Flower Color



Flower Season



Leaf Color

Dark Green


Bark Color

Brown, Red


Fruit Color



Fruit Season



Full, Half



Low, Medium


Growth Rate



Soil Type

Clay, Loam, Unparticular


Soil Condition

Average, Well-drained, Moist


Soil pH



Adverse Factors


Design Styles

Formal, Mediterranean, Seascape, Spanish, Wild Garden


Accenting Features

Fragrance, Multi-trunk Tree, Specimen


Seasonal Interest

Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall


Location Uses

Background, Patio, Street Tree


Special Uses

Erosion Control, Hedge, Screen, Wind Break, Shade Tree, Naturalizing


Attracts Wildlife


Information by: Jerry Sortomme
Photographer: Greg Applegate
  • Description

  • Notes

The California Bay is an aromatic evergreen tree or large shrub that slowly reaches 30'-60' high. It tolerates full sun in coastal areas but prefers afternoon shade in warm, inland areas and moderate amount of water. Use foliage for cooking, which is more pungent thatn Sweet Bay leaf. Yellow flowers appear in spring, followed by purple, inedible fruit.
For Planting Instructions please refer to the Garden Resources Garden Care Section. Garden Resources can be found on the main menu.