Alternative names: Not Applicable
Twining parasitic perennials with exstipulate leaves reduced to minute alternate scales.
Flowers small, bisexual, in axillary or terminal spikes, racemes or heads; receptacular tube conical, enlarged in fruit or not; perianth in 2 similar or dissimilar whorls; stamens in 4 whorls of 3, 3 or 2 whorls fertile, 1 or 2 reduced to staminodes; filaments free; anthers 2- or 4-celled, dehiscing by valves upwards, outer and second whorl of stamens introrse, innermost whorl extrorse, beating a pair of glands basally; ovary superior but enclosed in a receptacular tube as the fruit matures, 1-locular, with 1 pendulous ovule; style 1; stigma capitate (2- or 3-lobed).
Seed exendospermous, surrounded by a fleshy receptacular tube.
Over 25 genera and 1,000 species, mainly in tropical or subtropical regions; 5 genera in Australia.
Most are trees or shrubs with alternate or rarely irregularly opposite more or less gland-dotted entire evergreen leaves, often aromatic. Well-known examples include Laurus nobilis L. (laurel or sweet bay), Cinnamomum zeylanicum Nees (cinnamon) and C. camphora Nees & Eberm. (camphor tree).
Prepared by J. Z. Weber