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Genus Litsea Family Lauraceae

Description: Tall shrubs or trees, dioecious. Buds not scaly.

Leaves alternate, prominently veined.

Inflorescence umbellate, several small flowers surrounded by bracts that persist at least to flowering stage. Flowers unisexual, 3-merous. Perianth segments 6 [or 0]. Male flowers with 9 [or 12, or more] stamens, outer 2 whorls usually glandless, inner whorl [or whorls] with a pair of stalked glands; anthers 4-locular, dehiscence introrse; a reduced carpel often present. Female flowers with staminodes, the same number as stamens in the male flowers.

Drupe ± ovoid; receptacle enlarging and forming a cup around the base of the fruit.


Photo © ANBG

Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 400 species, widely distributed in warm areas of America, Pacific islands, Australia, Malesia, Asia. Australia: 11 species (10 species endemic, 1 species native), Qld, N.S.W., N.T., W.A.

Text by G. J. Harden
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1Leaves hairy on lower surface, especially on the veins, veins brown, upper surface glossy, hairs sometimes scattered along the primary veinLitsea australis
Leaves glabrous and rather glossy on both surfaces, veins greenLitsea reticulata

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