California Bay, Umbellularia californica, is a common large shrub/tree (it gets quite tall in the redwood forest) found in moist, hilly areas of northern and central California. It is related to the bay tree which produces the bay leaves used in cooking. However, this tree is far more fragrant/pungent than the horticultural bay. It can be used as cooking but do so with caution: it is extremely strong and has been known to cause headaches in some people. This tree is an important part of California's mixed evergreen forest, and would also make a good landscape plant; it would do well in the San Francisco area.