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The laurel, or avocado family (Lauraceae) is a major group in the Angiosperms (flowering plants), including about 3000 accepted species in 68 genera.  Its species are some of the most common and ecologically important woody plants in tropical ecosystems, and include well-known food plants such as cinnamon, bay leaf, sassafras and avocado.  Almost all members of the Lauraceae are trees and shrubs with the exception of the genus Cassytha, a group of about 25 vining obligate parasites with highly reduced leaves.  Laurel flowers are most often clustered in inflorescences, and laurels usually produce a fleshy drupe fruit with a single seed. 

(The Plant List 2013; Rohwer 2011; Carr, n.d.; Watson and Dallwitz 1992)


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