Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Key to families | Table of families and genera
Previous taxon Index to accepted names and synonyms:
| A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |
Next taxon
Laurus nobilis

Higher Taxonomy
Family: LauraceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: [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.
Genera In Family: +- 54 genera, +- 3500 species: widespread in tropics, less so in temperate; some cultivated (Laurus, laurel, bay; Persea, avocado; Cinnamomum, cinnamon, camphor).
eFlora Treatment Author: Henk van der Werff
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: LaurusView Description 

Common Name: LAUREL
Habit: Dioecious. Inflorescence: in leaf axils, umbel. Flower: unisexual; perianth parts 4; anthers 2-celled.
Species In Genus: 2 species: Europe; cultivated as ornamental. Etymology: (Ancient name)

Laurus nobilis L.
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. Chromosomes: 2n=36,42,48,54,60,66,72.
Ecology: Rich, well-drained soil; Elevation: < 10 m. Bioregional Distribution: SCo (Orange Co.); Distribution Outside California: native to southern Europe, Canary Islands. Flowering Time: Feb--Apr Note: 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.
eFlora Treatment Author: Henk van der Werff
Jepson Online Interchange

Previous taxon: Laurus
Next taxon: Persea

Name Search


Citation for this treatment: Henk van der Werff 2016. Laurus nobilis, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 03, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 03, 2016.

Geographic subdivisions for Laurus nobilis:
SCo (Orange Co.);
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.
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).

View elevation by latitude chart
Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records

CCH collections by month

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