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.