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    Vascular Plants of California
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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 2012, Persea americana, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on July 21, 2018.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2018, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on July 21, 2018.

Geographic subdivisions for Persea americana:
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
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, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.