Laurel, Laurus novocanariensis

Laurus novocanariensis
is a large shrub or tree that belongs to the Lauraceae family. The genus includes 3 species each containing several overlapping characteristics.

L. novocanariensis
can grow up to 66 feet high. It has aromatic, dark green glossy and leathery leaves, which have small glands in the armpit of the spine. The shrub or tree has lateral veins. It bears small white flowers that are about .4 inches in diameter.  The flowers are born in pairs beside a leaf. The fruit it produces is a visually olive-like berry that starts green and then becomes black when ripe, each containing a single seed. This plant is dioecious, with male and female flowers on separate plants.

L. novocanariensis is indigenous to the Canary Islands and Madeira. In the Canary Islands it is conserved in the National Park of Garajonay on the island of La Gomera. The tree grows best in rich soils in moist areas, with a subtropical climate and high air-humidity.

Image Caption: Laurel (Laurus novocanariensis). Credit: Frank Vincentz/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)