Bay Laurel or Bay Tree
A hardy aromatic evergreen shrub or tree native to the Mediterranean. It can grow to 12-18m (40-60 feet). In spring the white flowerbuds open as cream blossoms with pronounced yellow stamens. The Bay is dioecious, that is male and female flowers appear on separate plants but if only growing for the leaves then one tree is sufficient.
Favourite Growing Conditions
Enjoys well-drained but moisture rententive soil with full sun and protection from cold winds.
Propagation is difficult from seeds so during late summer and early autumn take 10cm (4 inches) cuttings from the lateral shoots remove lower leaves and insert into a pot of propagating mix. To create a propagating mix use 50% coarse sand and 50% coir peat. (Coir is a preferred over sphagnum moss because it produces good results without the environmental damage caused by peat mining. Coir is also useful in deterring snails.) When rooted transfer to a pot of potting mix. After about 2 years can be planted into garden or a larger pot.
Water if too dry.
Leaves can be taken after a couple of years.
Leaves can be used fresh or dried or frozen.