Definitions

laurel family

laurel family

Family Lauraceae, composed of about 2,200 species of often aromatic and evergreen flowering plants in 45 genera. Included in this family are ornamentals and plants that produce cooking herbs, food fruits, and medicinal extracts. The genus Laurus includes bay laurel (L. nobilis), native to the Mediterranean, which provides bay leaves for cooking, essential oils for perfumery, and the wreaths that crowned victorious heroes and athletes in ancient Greece. Another genus, Cinnamomum, includes the camphor tree and cinnamon. Also included in this family are the avocado, mountain laurel, and sassafras.

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Laurel may refer to:

Botany

Lauraceae, the botanical laurel family, including:

  • Azores laurel (Laurus azorica)
  • Bay Laurel (Laurus nobilis), the original true laurel that is the source of bay leaves used as a food flavouring.
  • California Laurel (Umbellularia californica), a related tree or large shrub.
  • Camphor Laurel (Cinnamomum camphora), a natural source of camphor.
  • True Cinnamon or Ceylon Cinnamon Cinnamomum verum, the inner bark of which is used as the spice cinnamon.

Other unrelated plants:

  • Cherry laurel (Prunus laurocerasus), an evergreen cherry, often called just laurel in gardens.
  • Great laurel (Rhododendron maximum), another shrub of the Appalachian mountains.
  • Indian laurel, certain species of fig trees or banyans.
  • Laurel sumac (Malosma laurina), an aromatic, evergreen shrub of the southern California and Baja California coastlands.
  • Mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia), an evergreen shrub of the eastern United States highlands.
  • New Zealand laurel (Corynocarpus laevigatus), former name for Karaka tree.
  • Portugal laurel (Prunus lusitanica), also an evergreen cherry.
  • "Spotted laurel" refers to the variegata cultivar of the Aucuba Aucuba japonica.

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