From the Mediterranena comes this very attractive evergreen small tree, one of the oldest known cultivated plants. This is the true bay leaf used in cooking since ancient times. Ancient Greeks also crowned their poets, heroes and victors in athletic contests with wreaths of bay. The English term "Poet Laureate" comes from this tradition. Bay was also thought to be an enemy of witchcraft and according to Pliny (AD 77) a protector against lightning. Currently Flemish Belgium is known for its high quality cultivation of this tree. Bays are slow growing trees that also makes good container plants.
Sun: Full sun or partial shade
Height at maturity: 10-15 feet
Laurus Nobilis (Lauraceae)
Grow your own savory bay leaves for soups and stews. This beautiful broadleafed evergreen likes full sun to partial shade. Water regularly -- but do not overwater! Shelter from winds and hard frosts. Prune in winter and trim in summer for shaping and a fuller tree. Well suited for container growing. Note: This is the only laurel species safe for cooking.
Bloom color: Chartreuse
Harvest time: Evergreen: pick leaves at any time for cooking
Min temp: 0 degrees or 10 degrees in a one gallon pot
Pollenizers: Not needed