The Laurel Family
referred to as the Laurel family, Lauraceae is represented by about 2800
member species world-wide, 90 of which are found in Australia within 8 genera. Because
the Laurel family is so ancient and was so widely spread over the Gondwana
supercontinent, member species are often found in relict populations isolated
by geographical barriers (eg on islands or tropical mountains).
trees are an important source of many essential oils. Their leaves contain
microscopic oil dots which give a pleasant odour when crushed. Bay leaves from
the Bay Laurel are used in cooking while other laurel species are a source of
medicinal products, spices (eg cinnamon, sassafras) or oil-rich fruit
(avocado). The sap within the plant is often toxic so many laurel trees are
valued for producing fragrant timber that is not susceptible to insect attack. Cinnamomum
camphora, the Camphor Laurel tree is considered a noxious weed in many
parts of NSW.
is home to five species in the Lauraceae family, three are trees, all of which are not common in the area, and two are climbers.
Trees - Cryptocarya glaucescens
(Jackwood or Native Laurel), Cryptocarya microneural (Murrogun) and Endiandra sieberi (Corkwood).
Climbers - Cassytha glabella (Slender Devils Twine), Cassytha pubescens (Common Devils Twine).