The flowering plant family Lauraceae, the laurels, includes the true laurel and its closest relatives. This family comprises about 2850 known species in about 45 genera worldwide (Christenhusz & Byng 2016 ). They are dicotyledons, and occur mainly in warm temperate and tropical regions, especially Southeast Asia and South America. Many are aromatic evergreen trees or shrubs, but some, such as Sassafras, are deciduous, or include both deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs, especially in tropical and temperate climates. The genus Cassytha is unique in the Lauraceae in that its members are parasitic vines.