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Vascular Plants of California
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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.
Jepson eFlora Author: Henk van der Werff
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

Previous taxon: Laurus
Next taxon: Persea

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Citation for this treatment: Henk van der Werff 2012, Laurus nobilis, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 27, 2022.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2022, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 27, 2022.

No expert verified images found for Laurus nobilis.

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


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

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 (fruiting time in some monocot genera).