Tarchonanthus camphoratus, the camphor bush, is a shrub or small tree in the Asteraceae family (SA Tree List No. 733). All parts of the tree exude a strong smell of camphor.
The bark is grey, furrowed, rough and tends to peel in strips. The leaves are narrowly lanceolate with entire margins. They are wavy and have a soft texture. Young growth and the lower surfaces of leaves are densely covered in cream coloured, velvety hairs. The dioecious flowers appear in massed terminal sprays
T. camphoratus grows almost throughout South Africa and in Africa, adapted to a very wide range of growing conditions. These habitats include forest, grassland, bushveld and semi-desert.
It is also a truly African tree, for instance sharing its Kikuyu common name of kileleshwa to the eponymous district of Nairobi in Kenya (Noad and Birnie, 1989; Coates Palgrave, 2002).