Peruvian Nutmeg, Laurelia sempervirens

Laurelia sempervirens is a large, evergreen tree species. The species may also be commonly referred to as Peruvian nutmeg, Tihue, Trihue, Chilean Laurel or Chilean Sassafras. L. sempervirens belongs to the Atherospermataceae family. The plant can commonly be found growing naturally only in Chile.

L. sempervirens plants are found in warm subtropical or tropical habitats. The trees often experience high heat, rainfall and humidity in its environment. L. sempervirens are best grown soils that are rich in organic matter and soils that are somewhat acidic.

Laurelia sempervirens will typically grow up to 98 feet tall and 6.5 feet in diameter. The tree’s trunk and branches are covered in smooth bark that is yellowish in color. Its green leaves give off a strong fragrance and grows between 2 and 4 inches long and about 1 inch wide. With toothed edges, its leaves have a glossy and leathery texture. The plant produces small, yellow flower clusters and seed bearing fruit. Seeds are spread by wind blowing the fruits feathery filaments.

Image Caption: Leaves of a Peruvian nutmeg (Laurelia sempervirens). Credit: Lin linao/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0, 2.5)