Ceylon cinnamon Cinnamomum zeylanicum, from here.

Belongs within: Laurales.

The Lauraceae is a pantropical family of mostly shrubs and trees, with the exception of the parasitic vine genus Cassytha. They are often aromatic. 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. 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.

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
    |--Daphnogene Unger 1850 HL08
    |    |--D. cinnamomifolia HL08
    |    `--D. lanceolata HL08
    |--Lindera K03
    |    |--L. pipericarpa K03
    |    `--L. pulcherrima D07
    |--Actinodaphne YY22
    |    |--A. angustifolia [incl. A. hookeri] BS07
    |    `--A. pseudogermarii JD05
    |--Sassafras YY22
    |    |--S. albidum C96
    |    `--S. ferretianum S89
    |--Neolitsea DS04
    |    |--N. cassia DS04
    |    `--N. sericea [incl. Litsaea glauca] LO98
    |--Laurophyllum Goeppert 1854 HL08
    |    |--L. knauense JD05
    |    |--L. lomatolepis Rüffle, Müller-Stoll & Litke 1976 HL08
    |    `--L. syncarpifolium JD05
    |--Laurus [Lauroideae] F71
    |    |--L. australiensis Ettingshausen 1883 F71
    |    |--L. azorica KL98
    |    |--L. nobilis R-RR-GM-S98
    |    `--L. princeps S89
    |--Nectandra J87
    |    |--N. coriacea J87
    |    |--N. membranacea J87
    |    |--N. patens J87
    |    `--N. sintenisii SWK87
    |--Beilschmiedia Nees 1831 A61
    |    |--B. bhutanica Gangopadhyay 2006 G06
    |    |--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
    |--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
    |--Cryptocarya J00
    |    |--C. amygdalina G06
    |    |--C. biswasii Gangopadhyay 2006 G06
    |    |--C. burkillii Gangopadhyay 2006 G06
    |    |--C. costata G06
    |    |--C. dekae Gangopadhyay 2006 G06
    |    |--C. everettii G06
    |    |--C. kurzii G06
    |    |--C. oblata H42
    |    `--C. triplinervis P82
    |--Litsea Lamarck 1791 A61
    |    |--L. calicaris (Cunn.) Benth. & Hook. f. ex Kirk 1889 (see below for synonymy) A61
    |    |--L. glutinosa H06
    |    |--L. graciae K03
    |    |--L. odorifera K03
    |    |--L. salicifolia [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
    |--Ocotea J87
    |    |--O. acarina J87
    |    |--O. acrantha J87
    |    |--O. foeniculacea J87
    |    |--O. kenyensis K09
    |    |--O. leucoxylon SWK87
    |    |--O. moschata SWK87
    |    |--O. portoricensis SWK87
    |    |--O. spathulata SWK87
    |    `--O. wrightii J87
    |--Phoebe JD05
    |    |--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. montanum J87
    |    |--P. pallida G06
    |    `--P. prazeri Gangopadhyay 2006 G06
    |--Cassytha Linnaeus 1753 [Cassythoideae] A61
    |    |--C. aurea G04b
    |    |--C. capillaris B12
    |    |--C. filiformis P88
    |    |--C. flava GK00
    |    |--C. glabella G04b
    |    |--C. melantha G04b
    |    |--C. micrantha GK00
    |    |--C. nodiflora G04a
    |    |--C. paniculata Br. 1810 A61
    |    |--C. pubescens A61
    |    `--C. racemosa G04b
    |--Persea SR07
    |    |--P. americana J87
    |    |--P. anomala J87
    |    |--P. arunachalensis Gangopadhyay 2006 G06
    |    |--P. bhaskarii Gangopadhyay 2006 G06
    |    |--P. borbonia M83
    |    |--P. fructifera D07
    |    |--P. gamblei G06
    |    |--P. gratissima [incl. Laurus persea] C55
    |    |--P. haridasanii Gangopadhyay 2006 G06
    |    |--P. himalayaensis Gangopadhyay 2006 G06
    |    |--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. sharmae Gangopadhyay 2006 G06
    |    |--P. sikkimensis Gangopadhyay 2006 G06
    |    |--P. thunbergii (Sieb. & Zucc.) Kosterm. 1957 [=Machilus khunbergii Sieb. & Zucc. 1847] G06
    |    `--P. upendrae Gangopadhyay 2006 G06
    `--Cinnamomum VM02
         |--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 (C.G. & Nees) Bl. 1826 [=Laurus burmannii C.G. & 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. leichhardtii Ettingshausen 1883 F71
         |--C. lohitensis Gangopadhyay 2006 G06
         |--C. macrophyllum Miq. 1864 G06
         |--C. mollissimum Hooker 1886 G06
         |--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. walaiwarense Kostermans 1983 VM02
         `--C. zeylanicum E30

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, T. calicaris Hook. f. 1854; incl. T. tangao Cunn. ms] 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


[A61] Allan, H. H. 1961. Flora of New Zealand vol. 1. Indigenous Tracheophyta: Psilopsida, Lycopsida, Filicopsida, Gymnospermae, Dicotyledones. R. E. Owen, Government Printer: Wellington (New Zealand).

[BS07] Bhuinya, T. & P. Singh. 2007. Critical notes on Litsea stocksii (Meisn.) Hook. f. Bulletin of the Botanical Survey of India 49 (1-4): 195-198.

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[CD07] Cantino, P. D., J. A. Doyle, S. W. Graham, W. S. Judd, R. G. Olmstead, D. E. Soltis, P. S. Soltis & M. J. Donoghue. 2007. Towards a phylogenetic nomenclature of Tracheophyta. Taxon 56 (3): E1-E44.

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[E30] Enderlein, G. 1930. Die Copeognathen-Fauna der Seychellen. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London 141: 21.

[F71] Fletcher, H. O. 1971. Catalogue of type specimens of fossils in the Australian Museum, Sydney. Australian Museum Memoir 13: 1-167.

[FPC04] Friis, E. M., K. R. Pedersen & P. R. Crane. 2004. Araceae from the Early Cretaceous of Portugal: Evidence on the emergence of monocotyledons. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 101 (47): 16565-16570.

[G06] Gangopadhyay, M. 2006. Notes on the family Lauraceae from India and its adjoining countries—I. Bulletin of the Botanical Survey of India 48 (1-4): 103-156.

[G04a] Gibson, N. 2004a. Flora and vegetation of the Eastern Goldfields Ranges: part 6. Mt Manning Range. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia 87 (2): 35-47.

[G04b] Gibson, N. 2004b. Flora and vegetation of the Eastern Goldfields Ranges: part 7. Middle and South Ironcap, Digger Rock and Hatter Hill. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia 87 (2): 49-62.

[GK00] Gibson, N., & G. J. Keighery. 2000. Flora and vegetation of the Byenup-Muir reserve system, south-west Western Australia. CALMScience 3 (3): 323-402.

[G60] Gudex, M. C. 1960. The native flora of Bryant House-Whale Bay area. Transactions of the Royal Society of New Zealand 88 (3): 357-362.

[H06] Henderson, L. 2006. Comparisons of invasive plants in southern Africa originating from southern temperate, northern temperate and tropical regions. Bothalia 36 (2): 201-222.

[HL08] Henniger, M. & R. Leder. 2008. Eozäne Makroflora der Querfurter Mulde. Mauritiana 20 (2): 229-251.

[H42] Hill, G. F. 1942. Termites (Isoptera) from the Australian Region (including Australia, New Guinea and islands south of the Equator between 140°E. longitude and 170°W. longitude). Commonwealth of Australia Council for Scientific and Industrial Research: Melbourne.

[J00] Johnston, P. R. 2000. Rhytismatales of Australia: The genus Coccomyces. Australian Systematic Botany 13 (2): 199-243.

[J87] Judd, W. S. 1987. Floristic study of Morne La Visite and Pic Macaya National Parks, Haiti. Bulletin of the Florida State Museum—Biological Sciences 32 (1): 1-136.

[JD05] Junge, F. W., M. Dolezych, H. Walther, T. Böttger, A. Kühl, L. Kunzmann, P. Morgenstern, T. Steinberg & R. Stange. 2005. Ein Fenster in Landschaft und Vegetation vor 37 Millionen Jahren: Lithologische, sedimentgeochemische und paläobotanische Befunde aus einem Paläoflusssystem des Weißelsterbeckens. Mauritiana 19 (2): 185-273.

[K09] Kelbessa, E. 2009. Three new species of Acanthaceae from Ethiopia. Kew Bulletin 64 (1): 57-65.

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[K03] Kulip, J. 2003. An ethnobotanical survey of medicinal and other useful plants of Muruts in Sabah, Malaysia. Telopea 10 (1): 81-98.

[LO98] Lack, H. W., & H. Ohba. 1998. Die Xylothek des Chikusai Kato. Willdenowia 28: 263-276.

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[SR07] Sankar, R. V., K. Ravikumar, N. M. Ganesh Babu & D. K. Ved. 2007. Botany of Anapady MPCA, Palghat district, Kerala with special emphasis on species of conservation concern. Bulletin of the Botanical Survey of India 49 (1-4): 165-172.

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[VM02] Viswanathan, M. B., & U. Manikandan. 2002. Emending of an endemic and critically endangered species Cinnamomum walaiwarense Kosterm., family Lauraceae, of Kalakad-Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve, India. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 99 (3): 557-559.

[YY22] Yampolsky, C., & H. Yampolsky. 1922. Distribution of sex forms in the phanerogamic flora. Bibliotheca Genetica 3: 1-62.

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