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Laurus nobilis

Pronunciation: law-russ NO-bil-iss
Family: Lauraceae (laurel family)
Common Name: Bay Laurel, Bay, Bay Leaf, Laurel, Sweet Bay
Plant Type:
  • trees, shrubs
Height to: 40ft (12m)
Width to: 30ft (10m)
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • 20 to 10ºF ZONE 8
  • 30 to 20ºF ZONE 9
  • 40 to 30ºF ZONE 10
  • 50 to 40ºF ZONE 11
Sun Exposure:
  • part sun
  • full sun
Bloom Season:
  • late spring
  • early summer
Bloom Description: Bay Laurel (Laurus nobilis) produce clusters of small yellow flowers, followed, on the female plants, by shiny black or purple berries about 1/2in (1.3cm) long.
Soil Type: fertile, moist but well drained soil
  • Skin irritant
Plant Perks:
  • Medicinal
  • Fragrant
  • Container Gardening
Pests and Diseases: scale insects, mealy bugs, powdery mildew, and anthracnose
Propagation: Bay Laurel (Laurus nobilis) seeds are slow to germinate and often rot before they do. Sow seed in containers in a cold frame in autumn, or take semi ripe cuttings in summer.
Native to: Mediterranean
Winter Sowing Zones: none
Notes for Identification:

Bay Laurel (Laurus nobilis) is a conical tree or large shrub with aromatic, narrowly ovate leaves, to 4in (10cm) long.

Where hardy, grow bay laurel in a woodland garden or as a specimen. Protect from cold winter winds. Bay laurel is an excellent shrub for hedges and a favorite for topiary sculpture because it responds very well to pruning. It can be trained as a standard or allowed to grow as a spreading shrub. In cooler regions, grow in a container and bring indoors in winter.

The popular culinary seasoning, bay leaf, is used extensively in French, Italian, Spanish and Creole cooking. It flavors soups, stews, shellfish boils, pickling brines, sauces, marinades, and poultry and fish dishes. Always remove the bay leaves before serving, because they are sharp and can cut the mouth and throat. French chefs place bay leaves, parsley and thyme in a little bundle called a bouquet garni that is removed after cooking. Pick bay leaves early in the day and dry quickly under weight so they won't curl. Store in an air-tight jar.

Source: Various sources including Floridata, The American Horticultural Society A to Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants and the USDA


USDA Heat Zones (days above 86ºF):
  • Less then 1 day ZONE 1
  • 1 to 7 days ZONE 2
  • 7 to 14 days ZONE 3
  • 14 to 30 days ZONE 4
  • 30 to 45 days ZONE 5
  • 45 to 60 days ZONE 6
  • 60 to 90 days ZONE 7
  • 90 to 120 days ZONE 8
  • 120 to 150 days ZONE 9
  • 150 to 180 days ZONE 10
  • 180 to 210 days ZONE 11
  • Greater then 210 ZONE 12
Seed photo: 0
Seed Label: 0
Located in: Trees, Shrubs
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