Camphor tree grows natively in China and Japan where it is used for oils and timber. In 1875 camphor tree was introduced into Florida and established in plantations for camphor production, although it was not profitable for growers.
In Florida, camphor tree is able to rapidly displace native trees and infest forests and other natural areas. This invasive species displaces native plants due to its fast growth habit and the ability to produce large amounts of seed. This seed is readily eaten and spread by birds. Nurseries and garden centers sell camphor tree as a popular ornamental plant which aids in its dispersal in landscaped areas. Camphor tree is not on the Federal or State Noxious Weed List; however it is listed as a Category I species on the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council (FLEPPC) list of invasive species. FLEPPC considers Category I plants invasive exotic species that displace or disrupt native plant communities, alter the ecology of the environment, or hybridize with native species.