golden laurel wreath




pronounced: law-RAY=see=eye

the laurel family


The name is derived from the Latin laurea, the laurel tree. These are trees or shrubs, except for the vining, leafless, parasitic genus Cassytha. Leaves are simple, entire (rarely lobed), without stipules, and nearly always alternate. They are often leathery, dotted with oil glands and aromatic when crushed. The flowers are usually bisexual, with a perianth of 6 basally connate sepal-like segments. There are frequently 4 whorls of stamens, 3 in each whorl, although the inner whorls are often sterile. The anthers dehisce by means of usually 4 upwardly-opening flaps. The single pistil has a usually superior ovary. The fruit is a berry or a drupe, often surrounded basally by the short persistent perianth cup.


Photograph by Andreas Praefcke