|The Lauraceae are nearly all woody trees and shrubs comprising 30 to 50 genera and about 2,000 species. An exception is the vining, leafless, parasitic genus Cassytha. The leaves are simple, without stipules, and usually alternate. The flowers are actinomorphic, usually bisexual, and possess a perianth of six, basally connate sepallike segments. The androecium most frequently comprises 4 whorls of 3 stamens each, although the inner whorls are often sterile. The filaments of the inner whorl usually have a pair of enlarged glandular appendages near the base. The anthers dehisce by means of commonly 4, upwardly opening flaps. The single simple pistil has a usually superior ovary with a single pendulous ovule in a solitary locule. The fruit is a berry or a drupe, often surrounded basally by the short, persistent perianth cup. Unlike other Magnoliidae, the endosperm is completely absorbed by the embryo in Lauraceae.
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