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Project Name Data (Last Modified On 11/12/2012)
 

Flora Data (Last Modified On 11/12/2012)
Family LAURACEAE
Contributor CAROLINE K. ALLEN
Description Evergreen trees or shrubs in the Panamanian species, rarely herbs (Cassytha); leaves alternate, occasionally subverticillate, rarely opposite, entire, penninerved, triplinerved or subtriplinerved, rarely subquintuplinerved. Inflorescence axillary or subterminal, usually paniculate. Flowers usually perfect, rarely dioecious, peri- anth 6-lobed, fertile stamens usually 9, in series of three; anthers erect, 2- or 4- celled, those of the two outer series usually introrse, those of the inner extrorse 'or occasionally the third of the inner series only fertile; filaments of the inner series always biglandular; staminodia, representing a fourth series, may be present or absent. Ovary superior, 1-celled, bearing a style, usually well developed, and a variable stigma. Fruit a 1-seeded berry, subtended by a disk or cupule formed by the enlarged perianth-tube, sometimes crowned by the remnants of the perianth- lobes, and supported by the usually enlarged pedicel.
Habit trees shrubs
Note About 50 genera throughout the world, one of the heaviest areas of concen- tration being in the Malaysian region and Eastern Asia, the second focus being in tropical America. A few genera only are to be found in Africa and one in Europe. Of those genera occurring in Central and South America, three are also abundant in Eastern Asia and Malaysia, namely, Beilschmiedia, Cryptocarya and Phoebe. More rare for the Lauraceae is the distribution noted in the genera Lindera and Sassafras, where a single rather widespread species of each occurs in the United States, the remaining species of Sassafras occurring in Eastern Asia, and of Lindera in Eastern Asia and Malaysia. Litsea and Persea occur in the United States, along the Atlantic Coast, and from upper Mexico into South America.' The following is based on the publication by the author, 'Studies in the Lauraceae, VI, Preliminary Survey of the Mexican and Central American Species' (Jour. Arnold Arb. 26:280-434. 1945), where a more complete synonymy is available. In the present treatment of the family fairly broad descriptions of the genera are given unless otherwise indicated. Data on the commercial uses of* the woods are obtained from field, notes and in some cases from 'Timbers of the New World,' by Record & Hess.
Key a. Anthers 4-celled. b. Staminodia large, cordate, stipitate. c. Perianth-lobes usually unequal or at most subequal; usually the lower cells of the anther touching the upper at their sides .............. 1. PERSEA cc. Perianth-lobes equal or subequal; usually lower cells of the anther touching the upper at their bases .......................-..... ........... 2. PHOEBE bb. Staminodia small, inconspicuous or occasionally lacking. c. Flowers perfect or dioecious; perianth-lobes not reflexed at anthesis, thin in texture; cells of the anthers arranged in two planes, one above the other .........-.....-................. ...... 3. OCOTEA cc. Flowers always perfect; perianth-lbbes usually fleshy, papillose and reflexed at anthesis; cells of the anthers arranged in an arc ............ 4. NECTANDRA aa. Anthers 2-celled. b. Flowers perfect. c. Flowers with 9 fertile stamens; fruit subtended by cupule with single margin or subtended by a naked pedicel. d. Staminodia well developed; fruit subtended by naked pedicel ...... 5. BEILSCHMIEDIA dd. Staminodia absent; fruit subtended by dentate cupule ................ 6. AIOUEA cc. Flowers with 3 fertile stamens; fruits subtended by cupules with double or triple margins ................ .............. ................. . .. 8. LiCARIA bb. Flowers dioecious ------------------------------------------------------7. ENDLICHERIA
Note The genus Cassytha probably is represented in Panama by C. filtfrrmis L. which is found in the tropics of the entire world, but is not common in Central America. The plants are parasitic herbs, similar in habit and general appearance to Cuscuta, but the floral structure is typically lauraceous. Exotic LAURACEAE cultivated in Panama include Cinnamomum Camphora (L.) Nees & Eberm., the source of commercial camphor (Alcanfoi), and C. zeyld-ncum Nees, cinnamon (Caneld).
 
 
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