Occurring naturally from coastal southern India and Southeast Asia
to northern Australia, this tree usually grows to about 40 ft (12 m)
high with a broadly spreading, low-branched habit and dense dark
green foliage. It commonly grows along beaches, providing an
effective line of shelter. The blunt-tipped leaves are remarkably
shiny and their lateral veins are so close they virtually touch one
another. In summer it produces sprays of highly scented white
flowers about 1 in (25 mm) in diameter, followed by 1 1/2 in (35 mm)
long yellow-brown fruit.
It's also named Alexandrian laurel or Oil-nut tree
Cultivation: Only one species is widely grown in the tropics, valued
as a shade tree and for sea-front planting.
Plant in humus-rich, well-drained soil in full sun. Propagate from
seed or cuttings.