The California laurel (Umbellularia californica), also mountain laurel mountain laurel or California, is a native deciduous tree species in western North America from the laurel family (Lauraceae). It is the only species of the genus Umbellularia.
The California laurel grows as an evergreen shrub or tree can and height of up to 30 meters, in exceptional cases up to 45 feet, and the trunk diameter can reach 80 cm. The tree crown is dense with vaulted high, rising straight branches. The bark is dark gray to dark gray and smooth to finely checkered. The bark of young branches are dark green.
The evergreen leaves are oblong-lanceolate, and about 60-10 cm long and 3 cm wide. They have entire margins and smooth flat. The shiny leaves are light green on both sides and have a whitish midrib. Crushed leaves smell very sweet and intensely aromatic and fruity, and the pungent scent can cause severe headaches with prolonged inhalation.
The flowering period is during the winter to early spring. The cream-colored flowers are up to fifth decade in small, pseudo-stalked umbels. They are of a Hochblatthülle of spirally arranged bracts surrounded, but are thrown off.
The flowers are bisexual and triadic. All bracts are conformation. Of the three circles of three stamens is the inner circle at the base of each dust sheet formed a pair of glands. The stamens are longer than the anthers.
These are four-chambered, the pollen sacs are arranged in two pairs of each other. The anthers of the outer two circles are inside, the turning of the inner circle to the outside. A fourth circle of sterile stamens (staminodes) is formed.
The fruit is about 2.5 cm in size and ovoid. They are first green, purple when ripe. The flesh surrounds a single hard and thin-seed. The base of the flower is small and flat, the fruit is surrounded by a small, slightly lobed fruit cup, which is a thickened stem.