laurel family

the plant family Lauraceae, characterized by evergreen or deciduous trees having simple, leathery leaves, aromatic bark and foliage, clusters of small green or yellow flowers, and fruit in the form of a berry or drupe, and including the avocado, bay, laurels of the genera Laurus and Umbellularia, sassafras, spicebush (Lindera benzoin), and the trees that yield camphor and cinnamon.

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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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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • laurel — /lawr euhl, lor /, n., v., laureled, laureling or (esp. Brit.) laurelled, laurelling. n. 1. Also called bay, sweet bay. a small European evergreen tree, Laurus nobilis, of the laurel family, having dark, glossy green leaves. Cf. laurel family. 2 …   Universalium

  • laurel — I. noun Etymology: Middle English lorel, in part from Medieval Latin laureola spurge laurel (from Latin, laurel sprig), in part modification of Anglo French lorer, from Old French lor laurel, from Latin laurus Date: 14th century 1. an evergreen… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Laurel — /lawr euhl, lor /, n. 1. Stan (Arthur Stanley Jefferson), 1890 1965, U.S. motion picture actor and comedian, born in England. 2. a city in SE Mississippi. 21,897. 3. a town in central Maryland. 12,103. 4. a female given name. * * * (as used in… …   Universalium

  • laurel — lau•rel [[t]ˈlɔr əl, ˈlɒr [/t]] n. v. reled, rel•ing (esp. brit.) relled, rel•ling. 1) pln Also called bay IV, 1) sweet bay a small European evergreen tree, Laurus nobilis of the laurel family, having dark, glossy green leaves. 2) pln any tree of …   From formal English to slang

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