Laurels, Lauraceae, are evergreen Dicotyledonous Plants found in tropical and warm temperate zones around the world, though they are most diverse and abundant in Southeast Asia and tropical America, where they form an important component of tropical rainforests. Most Laurels are evergreen trees, though one genus, Cassytha, comprises parasitic vines. Laurels appeared some time in the Cretaceous, though opinions about how early vary. These plants are fruit-producers, typically relying on Birds to spread their seeds.
In a paper published in the journal PLoS One on 18 October 2017, Yue-qing Mo of the Plant Phylogenetics & Conservation Group at the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, and the University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lang Li, also of the Plant Phylogenetics & Conservation Group at the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Jian-wu Li of the Herbarium of the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Jens Rohwer of the Biozentrum Klein Flottbek at Universität Hamburg, Hsi-wen Li of the Herbarium at the Kunming Institute of Botany, and Jie Li, again of the Plant Phylogenetics & Conservation Group at the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, describe a new species of Laurel from Yunnan Province in China, as part of a review of the Persia group of genera (which includes Avacados and their close relatives).
The new species is named Alseodaphnopsis ximengensis, where 'Alseodaphnopsis' refers to the similarity of the genus to the previously described genus 'Alseodaphne', and 'ximengensis' means 'from Ximeng' the species having been discovered in Ximeng County of Yunnan Province. The species forms evergreen trees with leathery leaves up to 11 cm in length,small white flowers and globular fruit up to 4.7 mm in diameter. The species was found growing in a seasonal rainforest at an altitude of 1300 m.
Alseodaphnopsis ximengensis. (A) Branchlet with inflorescences; (B) Branchlet with immature infructescences; (C) Branchlet with mature fruits; (D)-(F). Mature fruits; (G)-(H). Flowers. Jian-wu Li in Mo et al. (2017).
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