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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.
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Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
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 InformationBloom 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 ConditionsLight Requirement: Sun
BenefitUse 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.
Find Seed or Plants
Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording 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
BibliographyBibref 995 - Native Landscaping from El Paso to L.A. (2000) Wasowski, S. and A. Wasowski
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Web ReferenceWebref 30 - Calflora (2018) Calflora
Webref 36 - Jepson eFlora (2019) The Jepson Herbarium, University of California, Berkeley
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Malosma laurina in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Malosma laurina in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Malosma laurina
MetadataRecord Modified: 2022-10-19
Research By: TWC Staff