Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
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Persea americana

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: PerseaView Description 

Common Name: RED BAY
Inflorescence: terminal or in leaf axils, panicle-like cyme. Flower: perianth parts 6; stamens 9, anthers 4-celled.
Species In Genus: +- 100 (+- 200 if Asian species included) species: tropics, subtropical America; cultivated for avocado. Etymology: (Name used by Theophrastus for an Egyptian tree)

Persea americana Mill.
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. Chromosomes: 2n=24.
Ecology: Disturbed areas, abandoned gardens; Elevation: < 580 m. Bioregional Distribution: SCo; Distribution Outside California: native to mountains of Central America, widely cultivated for fruits. Flowering Time: Mar--May Note: Unlikely to escape cultivation areas due to large, heavy seeds.
eFlora Treatment Author: Henk van der Werff
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Citation for this treatment: Henk van der Werff 2016. Persea americana, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 04, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 04, 2016.

Geographic subdivisions for 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.
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.