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Malosma laurina

Malosma laurina (Nutt.) Nutt. ex Abrams

Laurel Sumac, Laurel-leaf Sumac

Anacardiaceae (Sumac Family)

Synonym(s): Rhus laurina

USDA Symbol: mala6

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Aromatic evergreen shrub or small tree with dense, rounded crown of glossy foliage and odor of bitter almonds. The common and scientific names refer to the resemblance of the foliage to that of Laurel (Laurus nobilis), an unrelated small tree of the Mediterranean region.


From the Image Gallery

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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Elliptic , Ovate
Leaf Margin: Entire
Leaf Texture: Leathery
Fruit Type: Drupe
Size Notes: Up to about 20 feet tall when growing as a tree. Often shrub-like and much shorter.
Leaf: Shiny green above, pale below.
Fruit: 1/8 inch.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Feb , Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul


Native Distribution: S. California including Santa Catalina and San Clemente islands, south to Baja California Sur; to 3000' (914 m).
Native Habitat: Dry slopes, in chaparral and coastal sage scrub.

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun


Use Ornamental: Planted as an ornamental in California, it grows rapidly and is drought-resistant but is damaged by cold winters. Can be a good large hedge.
Use Wildlife: Songbirds eat the fruit.
Attracts: Birds

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR


Bibref 995 - Native Landscaping from El Paso to L.A. (2000) Wasowski, S. and A. Wasowski

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 30 - Calflora (2018) Calflora
Webref 36 - Jepson eFlora (2019) The Jepson Herbarium, University of California, Berkeley

Additional resources

USDA: Find Malosma laurina in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Malosma laurina in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Malosma laurina


Record Modified: 2022-10-19
Research By: TWC Staff

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