Summer is truly here and along with the severe heat, we are experiencing serious water issues. There has never been more need for a hardy, very water wise tree and the Camphor bush has proven to be an ultimate survivor in harsh conditions.
This small tree is a moderately fast grower and can reach a height of between 2 to 9 m, depending on the environment. Semi-deciduous, the foliage is grey-green and together with the branches, form a lovely V-shaped canopy. The Wild camphor bush is thought to be named for the scent released by the leaves and fruit. Creamy white flowers are produced during winter and are followed by attractive, strongly scented fruit from March to November. The fruit appears as a small nutlet, covered in woolly white hairs, creating a cotton wool ball effect. In the wild, the foliage and fruit attract browsers such as springbok, kudu and impala and interestingly enough, birds use the cotton like hairs to line their nests.
The adaptable Wild camphor bush is extremely tough and able to withstand strong, salt laden coastal wind, drought or heavy frost. The tree has a strong, but small root system and can be used close to a pool or buildings and as an effective windbreak or hedge.