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Actinodaphne malaccensis - détail des feuilles (partie supérieure).JPG
Actinodaphne malaccensis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Magnoliids
Order: Laurales
Family: Lauraceae
Genus: Actinodaphne

See text

Actinodaphne lancifolia

Actinodaphne is an Asian genus of the family Lauraceae, bay laurel-related, that comprises a group of flowering plants within the order Laurales.


This genus of dioecious evergreen trees and shrubs has 140 species, in tropical and subtropical regions of Asia, with 17 Chinese species, 13 of which are endemic. The trees are 3 to 25 m tall, with leaves usually clustered or nearly verticillate, rarely alternate or opposite, unlobed, pinninerved, and rarely triplinerved. The flowers are star-shaped, small, and greenish. The flowers are clustered or whorled and are unisexual.[1] Umbels are solitary or clustered or arranged in a panicle or raceme; involucral bracts are imbricated and caducous. The perianth tube is short; perianth segments usually number six in two whorls of three each, nearly equal, and rarely persistent. The male flowers have fertile stamens usually 9 in three whorls of three each; filaments of the first and second whorls are eglandular, and of the third whorl are biglandular at the base; anthers are all introrse and four-celled; cells openg by lids; the rudimentary pistil is small or lacking. The female flowers has staminodes as many as stamens of male flowers; the ovary is superior; the stigma is shield-shaped or dilated. The fruit is a berry-like drupe seated on shallow or deep, cup-shaped or discoid, perianth tube. It has a small single seed dispersed mostly by birds.


They grow in low evergreen tropical forest regions, but also in tropical mountain cloud forest and laurel forest. Species in less humid environments are smaller or less robust, with less abundant and thinner foliage and have oleifera cells that give trees a more fragrant aroma. The ecological requirements of the genus are those of fog moisture precipitating almost continuously in a natural habitat, cloud-covered for much of the year. These species are found in tropical forests, subtropical temperate evergreen, and montane evergreen forests, which is a type of rainforest or cloud forest, an ecosystem characterized by high humidity, no seasonal changes, and with a wide variety of botanical and zoological species, but also highly fragile against external aggressions. The temperate evergreen and evergreen forests are typically multispecies with evergreen and hardwood trees, reaching up to 40 m in height. The forests are made up of laurel-leaved evergreen hardwood trees, harbouring a rich biota of understorey plants, invertebrates, birds, and mammalians.

Actinodaphne species require continuously moist soil, and do not tolerate drought and frost. The laurel trees fall within the broad-leaved forests; mid-montane deciduous forests; and high-montane mixed stunted forests. Some species grow in high-altitude forests at 1,500–3,300 m (4,900–10,800 ft).