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Native Laurel

Cryptocarya glaucescens
Jackwood, Native Laurel

This medium sized tree can be recognized by the under surface of the leaves, which is bluish-grey with a conspicuous yellow-white midvein. The leaves are alternate, dark-green on the upper surface, with smooth edges, tapering at both ends with a narrow or blunt tip (elliptic). The leaf buds and very young leaves have small pale-brown hairs. The leaves, when crushed, have a laurel scent.

This species flowers in summer with large clusters of very small cream flowers. The shiny, round (1.5 cm diameter) black fruit are somewhat flattened at the ends with a wrinkled surface. They ripen from autumn to winter and are eaten by pigeons. Native Laurel can be grown readily from fresh seed (germination: 1-2 months) and will grow into an attractive tree of 10-15 m. It can be found in the rainforest, also on the margins and in some disturbed areas.

The common name for this tree is Native Laurel but it should not be confused with the very different, introduced Cherry Laurel, Prunus laurocerasus, which is used as a hedge plant around Robertson and often self-seeds in the rainforest, displacing native trees.

Distribution: Mt Dromedary (near Narooma NSW) to Eungella Range The leaves (Qld).