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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

PERSEA RED BAY
Inflorescence: terminal or in leaf axils, panicle-like cyme. Flower: perianth parts 6; stamens 9, anthers 4-celled.
± 100 (± 200 if Asian species included) species: tropics, subtropical America; cultivated for avocado. (Ancient name for an Egyptian tree)
Unabridged etymology: (Name used by Theophrastus for an Egyptian tree)

P. americana Mill. AVOCADO
WAIF
Stem: < 30 m. Leaf: 6–25 cm, 3–11 cm wide, narrow- to wide-elliptic, hairs 0 to sparse abaxially, 0 adaxially; basal pair of lateral veins as strong as distal, without axillary pit; petiole < blade. Inflorescence: in distal leaf axils, 5–15 cm. Flower: perianth parts 4–6 mm, ovate, hairy; staminodes small; pistil hairy. Fruit: pear-shaped or round, 5–15 cm, yellow-green to dark purple.
2n=24. Disturbed areas, abandoned gardens; < 580 m. South Coast; native to mountains of Central America, widely cultivated for fruits. Unlikely to escape cultivation areas due to large, heavy seeds. Mar–May [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 Sep 17 2014
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Persea, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=37263, accessed on Sep 17 2014

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Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Persea americana 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.