Monday, April 26, 2010

Laurus nobilis - Grecian Laurel

Laurus nobilis: Laurus is the Grecian name for this plant; nobilis, meaning notable, renowned.

Also known as Sweet Bay.

This slow growing tree can also be used as a hedge.

Dark green, shiny, leathery leaves. Lanceolate shape with an acutely pointed end. These were the leaves used to crown the heroes of Ancient Greece.

These are also the culinary bay leaves of commerce, favored for their sweet aroma. Leaves from the California native Umbellularia californica can also be used in cooking, but these have a much stronger flavor. The leaves are also used for scenting linen cupboards.

Small yellow to cream colored flowers in April and May. Flowers are dioecious and unisexual.

Fruit is a dark purple pea-sized drupe favored by birds in fall.

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