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S. maritima flower
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Surianaceae
Genus: Suriana
Plum ex L. (1753)
S. maritima
Binomial name
Suriana maritima
L., 1753[1]
  • Bouzetia Montrouz. (1860)
  • Suriania Post & Kuntze (1903)
  • Bouzetia maritima Montrouz. (1860)

Suriana is a monotypic genus of flowering plants containing only Suriana maritima,[3] which is commonly known as bay cedar.[4]



It has a pantropical distribution and can be found on coasts in the New and Old World tropics.[citation needed]



Bay cedar is an evergreen shrub or small tree, usually reaching a height of 1–2 m (3.3–6.6 ft) and sometimes reaching 6 m (20 ft).[5] The leaves are alternate, simple, 1–6 cm (0.39–2.36 in) long and 0.6 cm (0.24 in) wide.[6] The grey-green, succulent foliage yields an aroma similar to that of cedar when crushed, hence the common name.[5] Its yellow flowers are solitary or in short[6] cymes among the leaves.[5] Flowers have a diameter of 1.5 cm (0.59 in) when open, with petals 6–10 mm (0.24–0.39 in) long and sepals 7–10 mm (0.28–0.39 in) long. Bay cedar flowers throughout the year.[6][1] After fertilisation, the flowers form clusters of five dry, hard drupes 3–4 mm (0.12–0.16 in) in diameter. The drupes are buoyant and can maintain the viability of the seeds during long periods in seawater, allowing the seeds to be dispersed by the ocean.[5]


  1. ^ "Suriana maritima L." TROPICOS. Missouri Botanical Gardens. Retrieved 2009-12-06.
  2. ^ Suriana maritima L. Plants of the World Online. Retrieved 14 December 2023.
  3. ^ "Subordinate Taxa of Suriana L." TROPICOS. Missouri Botanical Gardens. Retrieved 2009-12-06.
  4. ^ USDA, NRCS (n.d.). "Suriana maritima". The PLANTS Database (plants.usda.gov). Greensboro, North Carolina: National Plant Data Team. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d "Suriana maritima L. bay-cedar" (PDF). International Institute of Tropical Forestry. United States Forest Service. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-08-21. Retrieved 2009-12-06.
  6. ^ a b c Nelson, Gil (1996). The Shrubs and Woody Vines of Florida: a Reference and Field Guide. Pineapple Press, Inc. p. 345. ISBN 978-1-56164-110-9.