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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Magnoliids
Order: Laurales
Family: Lauraceae
Genus: Gamanthera

See text

Gamanthera is a flowering plant genus in the family Lauraceae, with a single species[1] endemic of Central America. These trees have a resilient wood, used as timber.


Evergreen laurel forest plants of Cloud forest in Costa Rica in Central America. They are trees to 8 m tall;[2] They are plants hermaphrodites. The leaves are lauroid, alternate, rarely opposite, entire, sometimes undulated, subcoriaceous, glabrous on the upper, glabrous or pubescent on the underside, pinnatinervium. The inflorescences in axillary, paniculata. It has small flowers. The fruit is a small-medium berry dispersed by birds.


The ecological requirements of the genus are those of the laurel forest and like most of their counterparts laurifolia in the world, it is a vigorous species with a great ability to populate the habitat that is conducive. The natural habitat is rainforest which is cloud-covered for much of the year. The species is found in forests that face threats of destruction by human deforestation.

Because of the special lack of worldwide knowledge about the family lauraceae in general, very little is known about their diversity. The knowledge of this family on a national level is that to be expected in countries with limited economic means, i.e. the vast majority of species is indeterminate or at least poorly determined. On the other hand, a high percentage of recently described new species come from collections made in these countries. Therefore an increase in the study of the family on national level is of utmost importance for the progress of the systematics of the family in general. Recent monographs of the small and medium genera of lauraceae with up to 100 species per genus have produced a high increase in the number of known species. This high increase is expected for other genera as well, particularly for those with more than 150 species recorded, bringing an expected considerable increase in the total number of species of the family.

A related vegetal community evolved millions of years ago on the supercontinent of Gondwana, and species of this community are now found on several separate areas of the Southern Hemisphere, including South America, Africa, New Zealand, Australia and New Caledonia.