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What is Camphor Wood?

Joan Reinbold
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Camphor wood is the durable timber that comes from the camphor tree. The camphor tree is an evergreen that grows 65 to 98 feet tall and has vertically fissured, light-colored bark. It is considered to be an exotic lumber.

How it Grows

Camphor tree grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture climate zones 11 (the warmest because the temperature never falls below 40 degrees F) to 9B (where it rarely gets below the 20-to-30 degree F range). The camphor tree grows in partial shade to full sun and in slightly acid to alkaline dirt.

Where It Grows

The most reliable camphor wood resources are mostly in Australia, though it also grows in such places as China, Taiwan, Indochina and Japan.


Camphor wood is gray white or light yellow at its sapwood. It is gold to dark brown at its heartwood, sometimes with a red tint; and it also can be a red brown with warm dark brown sections.

Texture, Grain and Luster

Camphor wood is a lustrous wood. Its texture is even and can be medium to fine. Camphor wood’s grain is usually straight, though it can be wavy or interlocked.

Anti-Pest Usages

Camphor wood repels insects and keeps silver from tarnishing.