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Published In: Genera Plantarum 80. 1789. (4 Aug 1789) (Gen. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 6/2/2011)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 6/3/2011)
Contributor Text: A.J.G.H. KOSTERMANS
Contributor Institution: Krukoff Botanist, Rijksherbarium, Leiden, Netherlands.
General/Distribution: A large family of 36 genera and about 2000 species, mostly tropical in all the continents. Represented in Pakistan by 4 genera and 8 species excluding the mediterranean species, Laurus nobilis Linn. which is cultivated in Lahore and Abbottabad.
Comment/Acknowledgements: Acknowledgement: We are grateful to the United States Department of Agriculture for financing this research under P.L. 480.


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Trees or shrubs (sub-family Cassythaceae hemiparasitic twiners), ever-green and deciduous, usually with slime and oil cells. Leaf buds naked or with bud scales or perulate with many scales. Leaves spirally arranged, sub-opposite or sub-verticillate, exstipulate, penni- or tri- or tripli-nerved, margin entire. Inflorescences definite, panicles, racemes, spikes, umbels or heads; the umbels surrounded by large, persistent bracts. Flowers bisexual or dioecious, actinomorphic, 3- or 2-merous. Perianth usually of 2 whorls of usually equal, 3 or 2 tepals. Fertile stamens in whorls of 3 or 2, usually 9 or 12-18; anthers 2- or 4-celled, the cells opening by flaps; the third and inner whorls usually with a gland at each side of the filaments (sometimes all filaments with glands); anthers introrse, extrorse or latrorse; 4th whorl usually staminodal or none. Ovary usually superior, rarely perigynous, exceptionally inferior, 1-celled with 1 pendulous, anatropous ovule; style 1, stigma small or inconspicuous, peltate or capitellate, often trigonous. Fruit a 1-seeded berry with thin, fleshy mesocarp and a large seed, without endosperm. The perianth either completely deciduous or persistent or developed into a disc- or cup-like cupule or the perianth tube completely enveloping the fruit. Chromosome number: usually n=12.

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1 Flowers dioecious in stalked umbels, surrounded by persistent, large, concave, decussate bracts (2)
+ Flowers bisexual in panicles (3)
2 (1) Leaves spirally arranged. Flowers 3-merous. Fertile stamens 12-18 Litsea
+ Leaves sub-verticillate. Flowers 2 merous. Fertile stamens 6 Neolitsea
3 (1) Leaves penninerved. Filaments of stamens and staminodes long and slender; anthers large. Fruit on a naked pedicel or the tepals unaltered, reflexed, persistent Persea
+ Leaves tri or triplinerved. Filaments short; anthers small. Perianth tube persistent, enlarged, forming a disc- or a cuplike cupule under the fruit Cinnamomum
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