views updated Jun 11 2018

Lauraceae A family of trees and shrubs (but Cassytha is a twining parasite) that have evergreen, alternate or rarely opposite, simple leaves without stipules. The tissues contain aromatic oils. The flowers are regular, small, unisexual or hermaphrodite, and usually trimerous. The ovary is usually superior and surrounded by a cup-like receptacle. The fruit is a berry or drupe-like, and often enclosed by a receptacle. Many species are valuable as ornamentals, or for timber, oil, or spices. There are 45 genera, with 2000–2500 species, occurring in the tropics and subtropics, and centred in Amazonia and South-east Asia.


views updated May 09 2018

lauraceae Large family of flowering plants, mostly evergreen shrubs and trees, including laurel, cinnamon, and sassafras; examples are found in warm and temperate regions worldwide. The flowers are generally green and are followed by berries.

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