name = Laurales

image_caption = "Laurus nobilis" flowers and leaves
regnum = Plantae
unranked_divisio = Angiosperms
unranked_classis = Magnoliids
ordo = Laurales
ordo_authority = Perleb
subdivision_ranks = Families
subdivision = Atherospermataceae

The Laurales are an order of flowering plants. They are a basal group of dicots, related to, and formerly sometimes included in, the Magnoliales.

The order includes about 2500-2800 species from 85-90 genera, which comprise seven families of trees and shrubs. Most of the species are tropical and subtropical, though a few genera reach the temperate zone. The best known species in this order are those of the Lauraceae (for example bay laurel or "Laurus", cinnamon or "Cinnamomum", avocado or "Persea", and "Sassafras"), and the spice bush or "Calycanthus" of the Calycanthaceae.

The earliest lauraceous fossils are from to the early Cretaceous. It is possible that the ancient origin of this order is one of the reasons for its highly diverged morphology. Indeed, presently no single morphological property is known, which would unify all the members of Laurales. This fact used to cause much argument among botanists regarding the correct circumscription of the order, and the presently accepted classification is based on recent molecular and genetic analysis.


The following families are included in the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group system:

Under the older Cronquist system, the Laurales included a slightly different set of families (current placement, where different, in brackets):

* Family Amborellaceae (Family Amborellaceae, unplaced)
* Family Calycanthaceae
* Family Gomortegaceae
* Family Hernandiaceae
* Family Idiospermaceae (= Calycanthaceae "pro parte")
* Family Lauraceae
* Family Monimiaceae (Cronquist included Atherospermataceae and Siparunaceae in Monimiaceae)
* Family Trimeniaceae (unplaced in basal group)


* K.J. Perleb (1826). "Lehrbuch der Naturgeschichte des Pflanzenreichs" p. 174. Magner, Freiburg im Breisgau, Deutschland.
* Renner, Susanne S. (May 2001) Laurales. In: "Nature Encyclopedia of Life Sciences". London: Nature Publishing Group. [ doi:10.1038/npg.els.0003695 Abstract] , [ Full text (pdf)] .
* Renner S.S. (1999). Circumscription and phylogeny of the Laurales: evidence from molecular and morphological data. "American Journal of Botany" 86 (9): 1301-1315. [ Abstract] , [ Full text (pdf)] .
* Endress P.K., Igersheim A. (1997). Gynoecium diversity and systematics of the Laurales. "Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society" 125 (2): 93-168. [ doi:10.1006/bojl.1997.0113 Abstract] .

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