Camphor Bush – Tarchonanthus camphoratus

Camphor bush - Tarchonanthus camphoratus
Camphor Bush – Tarchonanthus camphoratus

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

Family: Asteraceae 

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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.

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

Family: Asteraceae

Plant-animal relations: bees, butterflies


Soil type: 

Soil pH: 

Propagation methods:

Conservation status: 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.

Plant safety: No safety concerns

Herbal tradition(s): Cape Herbal Medicine

Plant parts: fruits, leaves

Herb qualities: 

Phytochemical constituents: camphor, cineole, terpineol

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