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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Genus: Laurus (laurels)

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > magnoliids > Order: Laurales > Family: Lauraceae

Two species, native to the Mediterranean region, Canary Islands and the Azores. Both species are cultivated in southern Africa, including Laurus nobilis, from which we obtain bay leaves, used in seasoning food.

Species cultivated in southern Africa

List from Glen (2002).

Laurus azorica (Canary laurel)

Native to the Azores and the Canary Islands.


Laurus nobilis (Bay laurel)

The bay leaves we use in seasoning food are derived from this tree. Native to the Mediterranean.


  • Glen, H.F. 2002. Cultivated plants of southern Africa. Jacana, Johannesburg.