Laurel (Family Lauraceae)
The Lauraceae or Laurel Family comprises a group of flowering plants
included in the order Laurales. The family contains about 55 genera and
over 2000 (perhaps as many as 4000) species world-wide.
Species of Lauraceae are mostly from warm or tropical regions, especially
Southeast Asia and Brazil. Most are aromatic evergreen trees or shrubs,
but Sassafras and one or two other genera are deciduous, and Cassytha
is a genus of parasitic vines.
There are three main economical uses for this family. A high content of
essential oils are found in many Lauraceae that are important for spices
and perfumes. Avocados are important oil-rich fruit that are now planted
in warm climates across the world. The hard wood of several species is a
source for timber around the world.
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