Laurus nobilis L. 1753

famiglia: Lauraceae
nomi comuni: alloro, lauro

ETIMOLOGIA: il nome del genere è coniato dal termine col quale gli antichi latini denominavano questa pianta, considerata sacra al dio Apollo e molto diffusa intorno ai suoi templi. L'attributo specifico latino nobilis (nobile, illustre, importante) ci dà un'indicazione del valore da sempre attribuito a questa specie dal genere umano

l'alloro è un arbusto od un alberello sempreverde, alto mediamente fino a 5-6 metri, probabilmente originario dell’Asia minore, rustico, diffuso allo stato spontaneo in tutta la regione mediterranea ed in ogni regione d’Italia, dal piano fino agli 800 metri. Viene impiegato generalmente per la formazione di siepi o di piante dalla particolare forma, in quanto sopporta molto bene le potature. Spesso lo si coltiva negli orti in quanto le foglie sono da sempre utilizzate per aromatizzare la carne ed altre vivande. L'alloro è una specie dioica, che porta cioè fiori maschili e fiori femminili su piante separate. Predilige posizioni soleggiate o semi-ombreggiate e si adatta a tutti i tipi di terreno

i giovani rami sono verdi e mostrano evidenti lenticelle allungate. Le foglie persistenti, di colore verde scuro e lucide nella pagina superiore, più chiare ed opache in quella inferiore, sono alterne, ovali oppure oblungo-lanceolate, brevemente picciolate, coriacee, lunghe da 6 a 10 centimetri. Il margine è spesso ondulato e la punta è acuminata. Come i frutti sono ricche di oli essenziali molto aromatici

sia le piante maschili che quelle femminili producono fiori unisessuali, piccoli e di colore giallo chiaro, riuniti in ombrelle ascellari che compaiono in marzo-aprile. I frutti compaiono solo sulle piante femminili e sono bacche ovali, nere a maturità, che contengono un solo seme

USO ALIMENTARE OD OFFICINALE: i frutti e le foglie sono ricchi ghiandole contenenti olii essenziali, le cui sostanze hanno proprietà digestive, antisettiche, balsamiche, diaforetiche e carminative. Le foglie sono ampiamente impiegate in cucina come aromatizzanti per i più svariati tipi di piatto. Con le drupe mature si può produrre un liquore chiamato laurino.

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