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LAURACEAE LAUREL FAMILY

Henk van der Werff

[Shrub], tree, [parasitic vine], generally evergreen, aromatic; [dioecious or ± so]. Leaf: generally alternate, simple, unlobed [(lobed)], entire, generally thick; stipules 0. Inflorescence: [(flowers 1, head), raceme, panicle], umbel-like, enclosed by bracts [or not]. Flower: generally bisexual, generally ± yellow to ± green; hypanthium often calyx-tube-like, perianth parts in 2(3) whorls of 3, ± sepal-like; stamens [(3)]9[(12)], in whorls of 3, inner often with 2 stalked orange glands at base, 1 [or more] whorls often staminodes [or not], anthers [2] 4-celled, opening by uplifting valves; pistil 1, simple, ovary generally superior, chamber 1, ovule 1, style 1, very short. Fruit: ± berry, often with swollen hypanthium, sepals.
± 54 genera, ± 3500 species: widespread in tropics, less so in temperate; some cultivated (Laurus, laurel, bay; Persea, avocado; Cinnamomum, cinnamon, camphor). [Buzgo et al. 2007 Int J Plant Sci 168:261–284; Carpenter et al. 2007 Int J Plant Sci 168:1191–1198] —Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Unabridged references: [Buzgo, M., Chanderbali, A. S., Kim, S., Zheng, Z., Oppenheimer, D. G., Soltis, P. S., & Soltis, D. E. 2007. Floral developmental morphology of Persea americana (avocado, Lauraceae): The oddities of male organ identity. Int J Plant Sci 168:261–284; Carpenter, R. J., Jordan, G. J., & Hill, R. S. 2007. A toothed Lauraceae leaf from the early Eocene of Tasmania, Australia. Int J Plant Sci 168:1191–1198]

Key to Lauraceae

LAURUS LAUREL
Dioecious. Inflorescence: in leaf axils, umbel. Flower: unisexual; perianth parts 4; anthers 2-celled.
2 species: Europe; cultivated as ornamental. (Ancient name)

L. nobilis L. BAY LAUREL
WAIF
Stem: < 10[20] m. Leaf: 6–11 cm, 3–4 cm wide, narrow- to wide-elliptic; hairs 0 or sparse-appressed abaxially, 0 adaxially; petiole < blade. Inflorescence: ± 5-flowered, (1 or) > 1 along leafless short-shoots. Flower: perianth parts 2–3 mm, elliptic. Staminate flower: stamens (8)12–30, inner whorls with 2 stalked glands at base. Pistillate flower: pistil 3 mm, glabrous, staminodes generally 4 . Fruit: ellipsoid, ± 1.5 cm, ± 1 cm diam, dark purple to ± black.
2n=36,42,48,54,60,66,72. Rich, well-drained soil; < 10 m. South Coast (Orange Co.); native to southern Europe, Canary Islands. Cult; bay leaves as spice; laurel of history.
Unabridged note: Cult; leaves (bay leaves) used as spice; source of laurel wreath in Greek, Roman mythology, "laureate" in English.
Feb–Apr [Online Interchange]

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on Oct 22 2014
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Laurus, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=30367, accessed on Oct 22 2014

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click for enlargement Laurus nobilis
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2005 Luigi Rignanese

Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Laurus nobilis Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.