Herbs: Bay Laurel

herbs on tableBay Laurel is one of our favorite Mediterranean natives. Its oval, dark-green, leathery, aromatic leaves provide a peppery addition to a Bouquet Garni, the traditional herb bundle used to flavor soups, stews and stocks. Dried bay leaves are widely available in super markets, but after you cook with fresh bay leaves, you’ll never go back to buying them in a grocery store.

Laurel trees grow slowly to 12-40 ft tall and wide. Compact and multi stemmed with a broad base, the plant often resembles a gradually tapering cone. Clusters of small yellow spring flowers are followed by dark purple fruit.

This evergreen shrub or tree prefers full sun or partial shade with moderate water and is not fussy about soil, but they do need good drainage. A dense habit makes it an excellent shrub, screen or small tree. Takes well to clipping into a formal container plant.