Camphor Bush – Tarchonanthus camphoratus

Camphor bush - Tarchonanthus camphoratus

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Common names: camphor bush, wild camphor bush (English); igqeba emlimhlophe (Zulu); wildekanferbos, vaalbos (Afrikaans). 
Botanical name: Tarchonanthus camphoratus


Small grey-coloured tree or large shrub widely distributed in Southern Africa. Aromatic leaves pale grey underneath and grey-green on top, rich in essential oils (cineole, terpineol, camphor); smoked by Khoi and San. Possible narcotic effect. Woolly fruits from March to November.

Family: Asteraceae
Attributes: aromatic, drought tolerant, shrub, tree, water-wise, wind tolerant
Flower colour: 
Flowering season: 
Plant-animal interactions: bees, butterflies
Conservation: Not threatened

Uses & Benefits

Teas and tinctures used orally for stomach issues – indigestion, colic; Blocked sinuses, chest complaints like asthma, bronchitis – also poultice on chest, and steam and smoke inhaled; for joint pain, toothache, headache. Woolly seed-heads used to be used to stuff pillows.

Care & Cultivation

From seed, cuttings, can re-sprout after fire. Wind and drought tolerant. Can be hedged, shaped and bonzai’d

Light-level: shade – semi, sun – afternoon, sun – full, sun – morning
Soil type: 
Soil pH: 

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