Bay Laurel

Laurus nobilis

Sweet Bay

About This Plant

Sun to part shade; a semi-evergreen shrub or small specimen tree. In the right soils, bay laurel grows quite large and sturdy; with appropriate training it can make a hedge. It appreciates some protection from late afternoon sun in summertime. This is the Mediterranean bay laurel of antiquity, a classical symbol of high status. Branches were interwoven to form the laurel wreaths awarded to winners at ancient games (and more recently at the Athens Olympic Games). When crushed, the leaves impart a pungent flavor to soups, teas and other dishes.

Origins: Mediterranean


Grows slowly. Shape as needed; bay can be sheared as a hedge or trained upward to a tree shape. Prune in summer and late summer to control the size and shape. Remove basal suckers. In winter temperatures under 10F severe damage can be expected.

An evergreen shrub with a classic xeric pedigree and loads of flavor.

Min. Height: 10'

Max Height: 20 feet'

Min. Width: 15'

Max Width: 25 feet'

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