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Home > Herb Gardening > Herbal Plants > Bay Tree
Bay Tree (Laurus nobilis) Herbal Plants
Bay Tree (Laurus nobilis)Bay Tree (Laurus nobilis) also known as Sweet Bay or Bay Laurel

DESCRIPTION: The Bay Tree is a large evergreen tree which grows to approx. 15m. The leaves are dark green, tough and very aromatic. Sprays of little greenish-cream flowers appear in spring and are followed by small black berries.

ORIGIN: Mediterranean regions

CULTIVATION: The Bay Tree is known for its hardiness and adaptability. It prefers a well-drained position in full sun, though it will also grow in semi-shade. The plants are tolerant of drought, wind and salt-spray. They will self-sow very readily. Bay Trees respond well to pot culture and they are often used as topiary specimens. Heeled cuttings can be taken in spring. (Note: Be certain that you have the correct species. Don`t confuse it with the Cherry Laurel which is toxic.)

USES: Bay leaves are used to flavour many meat and fish dishes and are a component of the traditional French seasoning bouquet garni (along with thyme, parsley and marjoram). Dried leaves are most commonly used. Bay oil was used to treat bruises and rheumatism. In ancient Rome and Greece, a wreath of bay leaves was used as a high honour for heroes and scholars - thus the terms "resting on one`s laurels" and "poet laureate".
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