Ceylon cinnamon Cinnamomum zeylanicum, from here.

Belongs within: Laurales.

The Lauraceae are a pantropical group of often aromatic flowering plants including mostly shrubs and trees. Commercially significant species include the bay tree Laurus nobilis, avocado Persea americana and cinnamon Cinnamomum species. The genus Cinnamomum also includes the camphor laurel C. camphora, whose aromatic wood is used to repel insects. Some species of the genus Ocotea, such as the black stinkwood O. bullata of South Africa, have wood that releases an unpleasant odour when cut though the timber of the latter species is highly prized once cured. Members of the genus Sassafras are deciduous; the North American species Sassafras albidum was historically used to flavour root beer, though 'sassafras oil' is now more commonly derived from other species of Lauraceae. Members of the genera Neolitsea and Litsea have inflorescences surrounded by large bracts that persist at least until the flowers open. The genus Cassytha comprises parasitic, largely non-photosynthetic vines with minute, scale-like leaves commonly known as 'dodder laurels' in reference to their strong superficial resemblance to the unrelated dodders of the genus Cuscuta (Convolvulaceae).

The fossil record of the Lauraceae extends back to the Cenomanian epoch of the early Late Cretaceous where they are represented by preserved flowers and leaves (Collinson et al. 1993).

Characters (from H. van der Werff): Shrubs to tall trees, evergreen or rarely deciduous (Cassytha a parasitic vine with leaves reduced to scales), usually aromatic. Leaves alternate, rarely whorled or opposite, simple, without stipules, petiolate. Leaf blade: unlobed (unlobed or lobed in Sassafras), margins entire, occasionally with domatia (crevices or hollows serving as lodging for mites) in axils of main lateral veins (in Cinnamomum). Inflorescences in axils of leaves or deciduous bracts, panicles (rarely heads), racemes, compound cymes, or pseudoumbels (spikes in Cassytha), sometimes enclosed by decussate bracts. Flowers bisexual or unisexual, bisexual only, or staminate and pistillate on different plants, or staminate and bisexual on some plants, pistillate and bisexual on others; flowers usually yellow to greenish or white, rarely reddish; hypanthium well developed, resembling calyx tube, tepals and stamens perigynous; tepals 6(-9), in 2(-3) whorls of 3, sepaloid, equal or rarely unequal, if unequal then usually outer 3 smaller than inner 3 (occasionally absent in Litsea); stamens (3-)9(-12), in whorls of 3, but 1 or more whorls frequently staminodial or absent; stamens of 3d whorl with 2 glands near base; anthers 2- or 4-locular, locules opening by valves; pistil 1, 1-carpellate; ovary 1-locular; placentation basal; ovule 1; stigma subsessile, discoid or capitate. Fruits drupes, drupe borne on pedicel with or without persistent tepals at base, or seated in ± deeply cup-shaped receptacle (cupule), or enclosed in accrescent floral tube. Seed 1; endosperm absent.

    |--Eusideroxylon zwageri K03
    |--Ampelodaphne YY22
    |--Hypodaphnis YY22
    |--Paxiodendron YY22
    |--Iteadaphne YY22
    |--Polyadenia YY22
    |--Aydendron YY22
    |--Ravensara YY22
    |--Parabenzoin praecox [=Lindera praecox] LO98
    |--Dahlgrenodendron FPC04
    |--Laurocarpum JD05
    |--Nothaphoebe umbelliflora (Bl.) Bl. 1851 (see below for synonymy) G06
    |--Alseodaphne hainanensis G06
    |--Machilus khasyana G06
    |--Umbellularia californica [incl. U. californica var. fresnensis] H93
    |--Daphnophyllum fraasii Heer 1869 CBH93
    |--Trianthera P92
    |--Daphnogene Unger 1850 HL08
    |    |--D. cinnamomifolia HL08
    |    `--D. lanceolata HL08
    |--Actinodaphne YY22
    |    |--A. angustifolia [incl. A. hookeri] BS07
    |    `--A. pseudogermarii JD05
    |--Sassafras YY22
    |    |--S. albidum C96
    |    `--S. ferretianum S89
    |--Lindera Thunb. 1783 KC01
    |    |--L. benzoin P93
    |    |--L. pipericarpa K03
    |    `--L. pulcherrima D07
    |--Laurophyllum Goeppert 1854 HL08
    |    |--L. knauense JD05
    |    |--L. lomatolepis Rüffle, Müller-Stoll & Litke 1976 HL08
    |    `--L. syncarpifolium JD05
    |--Neolitsea DS04
    |    |--N. australiensis B00a
    |    |--N. cassia DS04
    |    |--N. dealbata B00a
    |    `--N. sericea [incl. Litsaea glauca] LO98
    |--Inaperturopollenites CBH93
    |    |--I. dubius (Potonié & Venitz) Thomson & Pflug 1953 YB02
    |    |--I. hiatus (Potonié) Thomson & Pflug 1953 YB02
    |    |--I. laevigatus Takahashi 1957 YB02
    |    `--I. palaeogenicus CBH93
    |--Laurus [Lauroideae] F71
    |    |--L. australiensis Ettingshausen 1883 F71
    |    |--L. azorica KL98
    |    |--L. cinnamomum A93
    |    |--L. nobilis R-RR-GM-S98
    |    `--L. princeps S89
    |--Nectandra J87
    |    |--N. coriacea J87
    |    |--N. membranacea J87
    |    |--N. patens J87
    |    |--N. sintenisii SWK87
    |    `--N. tabascensis BT87
    |--Dehaasia G06
    |    |--D. arunachalensis Gangopadhyay 2006 G06
    |    |--D. assamica G06
    |    |--D. candolleana G06
    |    |--D. cuneata G06
    |    |--D. incrassata (Jack) Kosterm. 1952 [=Laurus incrassata Jack 1822] G06
    |    |--D. kurzii G06
    |    `--D. rangamattiensis Gangopadhyay 2006 G06
    |--Beilschmiedia Nees 1831 A61
    |    |--B. bancrofti WO95
    |    |--B. bhutanica Gangopadhyay 2006 G06
    |    |--B. elliptica H90
    |    |--B. obtusifolia B00a
    |    |--B. pendula J87
    |    |--B. roxburghiana G06
    |    |--B. tarairi (Cunn.) Benth. & Hook. f. ex Kirk 1889 (see below for synonymy) A61
    |    `--B. tawa (Cunn.) Benth. & Hook. f. ex Kirk 1889 (see below for synonymy) A61
    |--Ocotea J87
    |    |--O. acarina J87
    |    |--O. acrantha J87
    |    |--O. bullata P65
    |    |--O. foeniculacea J87
    |    |--O. glaziovii W92
    |    |--O. kenyensis E09
    |    |--O. leucoxylon SWK87
    |    |--O. moschata SWK87
    |    |--O. portoricensis SWK87
    |    |--O. spathulata SWK87
    |    `--O. wrightii J87
    |--Phoebe G06
    |    |--P. attenuata D07
    |    |--P. baishyae Gangopadhyay 2006 G06
    |    |--P. boehlensis JD05
    |    |--P. cathia G06
    |    |--P. declinata (Bl.) Nees 1836 [=Laurus declinata Bl. 1823, Persea declinata (Bl.) Kosterm. 1974] G06
    |    |--P. lanceolata G06
    |    |--P. lummaoensis Gangopadhyay 2006 G06
    |    |--P. mexicana BT87
    |    |--P. montanum J87
    |    |--P. neurophylla BBO02
    |    |--P. pallida G06
    |    |--P. prazeri Gangopadhyay 2006 G06
    |    `--P. tampicensis BT87
    |--Cassytha Linnaeus 1753 [Cassythaceae, Cassythoideae] A61
    |    |--C. aurea LK14
    |    |--C. candida LK14
    |    |--C. capillaris B12
    |    |--C. filiformis LK14
    |    |--C. flava GK00
    |    |--C. glabella G04b
    |    |    |--C. g. f. glabella H90
    |    |    `--C. g. f. dispar H90
    |    |--C. melantha G04b
    |    |--C. micrantha GK00
    |    |--C. nodiflora G04a
    |    |--C. peninsularis B00b
    |    |--C. pubescens A61 [incl. C. paniculata Br. 1810 H90, A61, C. phaeolasia H90]
    |    `--C. racemosa G04b
    |         |--C. r. f. racemosa H90
    |         `--C. r. f. muelleri H90
    |--Endiandra B00a
    |    |--E. compressa B00a
    |    |--E. crassiflora H90
    |    |--E. discolor B00a
    |    |--E. floydii H90
    |    |--E. glauca B00a
    |    |--E. globosa H90
    |    |--E. hayesii H90
    |    |--E. hypotephra B00b
    |    |--E. impressicosta B00a
    |    |--E. introrsa H90
    |    |--E. muelleri H90
    |    |    |--E. m. ssp. muelleri H90
    |    |    `--E. m. ssp. bracteata H90
    |    |--E. palmerstoni H42
    |    |--E. pubens B00a
    |    |--E. sieberi B00a
    |    `--E. virens H90
    |--Litsea Lamarck 1789 A61
    |    |--L. auriculata LI89
    |    |--L. australis H90
    |    |--L. bindoniana B00a
    |    |--L. breviumbellata B00a
    |    |--L. calicaris (Cunn.) Benth. & Hook. f. ex Kirk 1889 (see below for synonymy) A61
    |    |--L. chinensis L00
    |    |--L. ferruginea S91
    |    |--L. coriacea M04
    |    |--L. glutinosa LK14
    |    |--L. graciae K03
    |    |--L. leefeana CW92
    |    |--L. macrophylla B00a
    |    |--L. odorifera K03
    |    |--L. reticulata B00a
    |    |--L. salicifolia (Roxb. ex Nees) Hooker 1886 [incl. Tetranthera lanceaefolia Roxburgh 1832] BS07
    |    `--L. stocksii (Meisner) Hooker 1886 (see below for synonymy) BS07
    |         |--L. s. var. stocksii BS07
    |         |--L. s. var. acutata (Meisner) Hooker 1886 (see below for synonymy) BS07
    |         `--L. s. var. glabrescens (Meisner) Hooker 1886 (see below for synonymy) BS07
    |--Persea G06
    |    |--P. americana CW92
    |    |    |--P. a. var. americana FYP07
    |    |    `--P. a. var. dryifolia FYP07
    |    |--P. anomala J87
    |    |--P. arunachalensis Gangopadhyay 2006 G06
    |    |--P. bhaskarii Gangopadhyay 2006 G06
    |    |--P. borbonia M83
    |    |--P. fructifera G06
    |    |--P. gamblei G06
    |    |--P. gratissima [incl. Laurus persea] C55
    |    |--P. haridasanii Gangopadhyay 2006 G06
    |    |--P. himalayaensis Gangopadhyay 2006 G06
    |    |--P. hintonii BTA75
    |    |--P. indica KL98
    |    |--P. lobitensis Gangopadhyay 2006 G06
    |    |--P. macrantha SR07
    |    |--P. odoratissima [=Machilus odoratissima] G06
    |    |--P. robusta (Smith) Kosterm. 1962 [=Machilus robusta Smith 1921] G06
    |    |--P. russellii Gangopadhyay 2006 G06
    |    |--P. schideana BT87
    |    |--P. sharmae Gangopadhyay 2006 G06
    |    |--P. sikkimensis Gangopadhyay 2006 G06
    |    |--P. theobromifolia D81
    |    |--P. thunbergii (Sieb. & Zucc.) Kosterm. 1957 [=Machilus khunbergii Sieb. & Zucc. 1847] G06
    |    `--P. upendrae Gangopadhyay 2006 G06
    |--Cinnamomum G06
    |    |--C. bejolghota G06
    |    |--C. bhamoensis Gangopadhyay 2006 G06
    |    |--C. bhaskarii Gangopadhyay 2006 G06
    |    |--C. bishnupadae Gangopadhyay 2006 G06
    |    |--C. blandfordii Gangopadhyay 2006 G06
    |    |--C. burmannii (Nees & Nees) Bl. 1826 [=Laurus burmannii Nees & Nees 1823] G06
    |    |--C. cacharensis G06
    |    |--C. camphora (Linnaeus) Presl 1825 CD07
    |    |--C. cupulatum G06
    |    |--C. discoideum JD05
    |    |--C. glaucescens G06
    |    |--C. impressinervium G06
    |    |--C. iners P88
    |    |--C. japonicum BBO02
    |    |--C. leichhardtii Ettingshausen 1883 F71
    |    |--C. lohitensis Gangopadhyay 2006 G06
    |    |--C. macrophyllum Miq. 1864 G06
    |    |--C. mollissimum Hooker 1886 G06
    |    |--C. oliveri B00a
    |    |--C. polymorphoides F71
    |    |--C. sanjappae Gangopadhyay 2006 G06
    |    |--C. sieboldii [incl. C. loureirii] LO98
    |    |--C. subavenium Miq. 1858 G06
    |    |--C. sulphuratum SR07
    |    |--C. suvrae Gangopadhyay 2006 G06
    |    |--C. tamala D07
    |    |--C. tavoyanum G06
    |    |--C. travancoricum VM02
    |    |--C. virens H90
    |    |--C. walaiwarense Kostermans 1983 VM02
    |    `--C. zeylanicum E30
    `--Cryptocarya G06
         |--C. alba B14
         |--C. amygdalina G06
         |--C. bidwillii H90
         |--C. biswasii Gangopadhyay 2006 G06
         |--C. burkillii Gangopadhyay 2006 G06
         |--C. cinnamomifolia S91
         |--C. corrugata B00a
         |--C. costata G06
         |--C. cunninghamii LK14
         |--C. dekae Gangopadhyay 2006 G06
         |--C. densiflora B00a
         |--C. dorrigoensis H90
         |--C. erythroxylon B00a
         |--C. everettii G06
         |--C. floydii H90
         |--C. foetida H90
         |--C. foveolata WO95
         |--C. glaucescens B00a
         |--C. grandis B00a
         |--C. hypospodia B00a
         |--C. kurzii G06
         |--C. laevigata [incl. C. laevigata var. bowiei] H90
         |--C. mackinnoniana B00a
         |--C. meissneriana H90
         |--C. microneura B00a
         |--C. murrayi B00a
         |--C. nova-anglica H90
         |--C. oblata H42
         |--C. obovata H90
         |--C. rigida B00a
         |--C. triplinervis P82
         |    |--C. t. var. triplinervis H90
         |    `--C. t. var. pubens H90
         |--C. williwilliana H90
         `--C. woodi BP60

Beilschmiedia tarairi (Cunn.) Benth. & Hook. f. ex Kirk 1889 [=Laurus tarairi Cunn. 1838, Nesodaphne tarairi (Cunn.) Hook. f. 1854] A61

Beilschmiedia tawa (Cunn.) Benth. & Hook. f. ex Kirk 1889 [=Laurus tawa Cunn. 1838, Nesodaphne tawa Hook. f. 1854; incl. L. victoriana Col. in Hooker 1864 (n. n.)] A61

Litsea calicaris (Cunn.) Benth. & Hook. f. ex Kirk 1889 [=Laurus calicaris Sol. ex Cunn. 1838, Tetranthera calicaris Hook. f. 1854; incl. T. tangao Cunn. 1838 (n. n.)] A61

Litsea stocksii (Meisner) Hooker 1886 [=Cylicodaphne oblonga var. stocksii Meisner in de Candolle 1864; incl. L. josephii Almeida 1990 (nom. illeg.), L. vartakii Almeida 1989 (nom. illeg.)] BS07

Litsea stocksii var. acutata (Meisner) Hooker 1886 [=Cylicodaphne myristicaefolia var. acutata Meisner in de Candolle 1864] BS07

Litsea stocksii var. glabrescens (Meisner) Hooker 1886 [=Cylicodaphne wightiana var. glabrescens Meisner in de Candolle 1864] BS07

Nothaphoebe umbelliflora (Bl.) Bl. 1851 [=Ocotea umbelliflora Bl. 1826; incl. N. nicobarica Chakrab. & Vasud. 1985] G06

*Type species of generic name indicated


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