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Laurel Sumac
Malosma laurina
  
About Laurel Sumac (Malosma laurina) 18 Nurseries Carry This Plant Laurel Sumac is a member of the Anacardaceae (Cashew) family that is common along the southern California and Baja California coasts from San Luis Obispo county southward. It is a key member of coastal sage scrub and chaparral ecosystems. Common names for the species include laurel sumac and lentisco (Spanish); the name "laurel" was chosen because the foliage is reminiscent of bay laurel, which is an otherwise unrelated small tree of the Mediterranean region. It is a large, rounded evergreen shrub or small tree that grows to 10-18 feet tall. In bloom, it is intensely aromatic, and gives a characteristic odor to chaparral. The lance-shaped leaf blades are up to 10 centimeters long, with reddish veins and stems. The very small flowers have five white petals and five-lobed green sepals. Large clusters of these flowers occur at the ends of twigs in late spring and early summer. The clusters are 7-15 centimeters long, and are reminiscent of lilac. The fruit is a whitish drupe 3 millimeters in diameter with a smooth, flattish stone inside. This plant is very drought tolerant but not cold tolerant and is not found in areas where freezing temperatures are normal. This plant is a necessity for the southern California chaparral garden, and it is great for birds and wildlife.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Plant Type
Shrub

Size
Size
10 - 20 ft tall
20 ft wide

Form
Form
Rounded

Growth Rate
Growth Rate
Fast

Dormancy
Dormancy
Evergreen

Fragrance
Fragrance
Fragrant - Pleasant

Flower Color
Flower Color
Cream, White

Flowering Season
Flowering Season
Winter, Spring

Wildlife Supported
 
Numerous insects and birds

 
Butterflies & moths hosted ( 9 confirmed , 9 likely * ) SHOW ALL

Landscaping Information
Sun
Sun
Full Sun

Moisture
Moisture
Extremely Low

Summer Irrigation
Summer Irrigation
Max 1x / month once established

Nurseries
Nurseries

Ease of Care
Ease of Care
Very Easy

Cold Tolerance
Cold Tolerance
Tolerates cold to 35° F

Soil Drainage
Soil Drainage
Fast

Soil Description
Soil Description
Typically prefers well drained soil, sandy or rocky. Soil PH: 6.0 - 8.0

Common uses
Common uses
Bank Stabilization, Hedges, Bird Gardens

Propagation
Propagation?
For propagating by seed: Hot water or oven heat of 200° to 240°F for 5 mins. (Wright 1931).

Sunset Zones
Sunset Zones?
14, 15, 16, 17*, 19, 20*, 21*, 22*, 23*, 24*

Natural Setting
Site Type
Site Type
Slopes, canyons, bluffs, marine terraces and other areas where coastal sage scrub or chaparral are found

Climate
Climate
Annual Precipitation: 2.7" - 44.8", Summer Precipitation: 0.14" - 2.07", Coldest Month: 33.4" - 58.3", Hottest Month: 62.4" - 88.4", Humidity: 0.74" - 38.92", Elevation: -180" - 6508"

Alternative Names
Botanical Names: Rhus laurina


Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora


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