Tarchonanthus camphoratus

Camphor bush - Tarchonanthus camphoratus
Camphor bush - Tarchonanthus camphoratus
Camphor bush - Tarchonanthus camphoratus

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

The camphor bush, Tarchonanthus camphoratus, is a small, semi-deciduous tree with attractive grey foliage and a V-shaped canopy. It is a tough and versatile plant that can grow in various habitats, from dry inland areas to coastal dunes. It produces creamy-white flowers and fluffy, scented seedheads that are used to stuff cushions. The leaves have a strong camphor smell and are used medicinally for various ailments, such as coughs, toothaches and headaches. The camphor bush is also browsed by wildlife, such as kudu, giraffe and impala. It is an ideal tree for creating hedges, windbreaks or bonsai specimens. It can be propagated by seed or cuttings.

Uses & Benefits: aromatic, bedding, hedge, insect repellent, medicine, pot plant, potpourri, small garden, smoke, tea, water-wise, wind tolerant


Nature & Cultivation

Family: Asteraceae
Type: shrub, tree
Vegetation type:  
Flower colour: white
Flowering season: 
Plant-animal interactions: bees, butterflies
Red list status:

Light-level: afternoon sun, full sun, morning sun, semi-shade
Soil type: 
Soil pH: 
Propagation: cuttings, resprout after fire, seed

Use as Medicine

Safety: no safety concerns

Herbal traditions: Cape Herbal Medicine
Plant parts used: fruits, leaves

First-aid use: arthritis, asthma, bronchitis, colic, cough, headache, indigestion, pain, sinusitis, toothache 
Medical use:  
Veterinary use:  

Plant qualities: 
Plant actions: analgesic / anodyne, antirheumatic, decongestant, digestive, narcotic
Phytochemical constituents: camphor, cineole, terpineol

Plant preparations: dried, essential oil, infusion - aqueous, poultice, smoke, steam, tincture


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