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Pepperwood

The Umbellularia Californica is commonly known as Bay, Bay Laurel, Baytree, Black Myrtle, California Bay, California Laurel, Cinnamon Bush, Coos Bay Laurel, Laurel, Mountain Laurel, Myrtle, Myrtletree, Myrtlewood, Oregon Myrtle, Pacific Myrtle, Pepperwood, Spice-tree, White Myrtle, as well as Yellow Myrtle

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Growing Regions

California bay occurs in the Klamath, Siskiyou, and Coast Ranges from Douglas County, Oregon south to San Diego County, California, and on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada from Shasta County south to Kern County. It is found along drainages in the Central Valley, California [16,23,31,48]. Umbellularia californica var. fresnensis occurs in Fresno County, California [9].

     

General Information

The currently accepted scientific name of California bay is Umbellularia californica (Hook. & Arn.) Nutt. [9,22,31]. Recognized varieties and forms are as follows [9]: U. californica var. californica U. californica var. fresnensis Eastwood U. californica f. pendula Rehd.

California bay is sometimes codominant or dominant in various hardwood
forests.  Pure stands are rare, but there are a few California bay
forests in the Coast Ranges and in Tehema County, California [7,11,15].
The tree also occurs in various coniferous forests, where it is a
codominant or dominant in the subcanopy or is an understory associate.
Published classifications listing California bay as codominant or
dominant in community types (cts), ecoassociation types (eco), plant
associations (pas), or vegetation types (vts) are as follows:

AREA                            CLASSIFICATION            AUTHORITY
  CA: outer Coast Ranges        Ca. bay forest cts        Holland 1986
  CA: Coast Ranges              Ca. hardwoods eco         Allen & others 1991
 nCA: Klamath; N.Coast Ranges   cismontane woodland cts   Holland 1986
 nCA: Muir Woods NM             redwood forest vts        McBride & Jacobs 1980
 sCA: S.Coast Ranges            riparian pas              Paysen & others 1980
 sCA: Santa Ana Mts.            canyon woodlands cts      Vogl 1976
swOR: Siskiyou NF               mixed evergreen cts       Sawyer & others 1977
swOR: Siskiyou; Klamath         tanoak-Ca. laurel pas     Atzet & Wheeler 1984
      Ranges

Much of the information presented here is attributed to:
Howard, Janet L. 1992. Umbellularia californica. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available at USDA Forest Service.

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