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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 3 | Lauraceae

1. Lindera Thunberg, Nov. Gen. Pl. 3: 64. 1783, name conserved. 1676.

Spicebush [For John 1723, Swedish botanist]

B. Eugene Wofford

Benzoin Boerhaave ex Schaeffer

Shrubs or small trees , deciduous. Bark grayish, becoming darker with age. Leaves alternate, aromatic when crushed (at least when young). Leaf blade pinnately veined, membranous to nearly leathery; surfaces glabrous to densely pubescent; domatia absent. Inflorescences appearing before leaves, axillary, clusters (pseudoumbels), clusters subsessile, nearly umbellate, each subtended by 2 pairs of decussate bracts. Flowers unisexual, staminate and pistillate on different plants, a few bisexual flowers on some plants; tepals deciduous, yellow, pellucid-dotted, equal, glabrous. Staminate flowers: stamens 9; anthers 2-locular, 2-valved, introrse. Pistillate flowers: staminodes variously developed; ovary globose. Drupe bright red, ellipsoid to nearly globose, borne on pedicel, with or without persistent tepals at base. x = 12.

Species ca. 100 (3 in the flora): North America, e Asia.


McCartney, R. D., K. Wurdack, and J. Moore. 1989. The genus Lindera in Florida. Palmetto 9: 3-8. Steyermark, J. A. 1949. Lindera melissaefolia. Rhodora 51: 153-162. Wofford, B. E. 1983. A new Lindera from North America. J. Arnold Arbor. 64: 325-331.

1 Leaf blade somewhat leathery, larger blades usually less than 8 × 4 cm, young leaves faintly aromatic when crushed, becoming essentially odorless with age.   1 Lindera subcoriacea
+ Leaf blade membranous, larger blades usually more than 8 × 4 cm, crushed leaves strongly aromatic throughout growing season.   (2)
2 (1) Leaves horizontal to mostly ascending; blade obovate, base cuneate, apex acuminate on larger leaves; fruiting pedicels of previous season not persistent on stem, not conspicously enlarged at apex; shrubs or small trees.   2 Lindera benzoin
+ Leaves drooping; blade elliptic to ovate, base rounded to widely cuneate, apex acute; fruiting pedicels of previous season persistent on stem, enlarged at apex; low shrubs rarely over 1.5 m.   3 Lindera melissifolia

Lower Taxa


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