Bay Laurel

Laurus nobilis

Bay Laurel - Laurus nobilis

Common Name: Bay Laurel
Genus: Laurus
Species: nobilis

Category: Shrubs and Sub-shrubs
Growth Rate: Slow growing
Features: Has fragrant flowers/foliage, Makes a good hedge, A good architectural plant, Long flowering period
Awards: RHS Award of Garden Merit, RHS Perfect for Pollinators

Hardiness: Half-HardyHeight: 10.00 m (1000 cm)
Sun/Shade: Full sun or Partial shadeSpread: 10.00 m (1000 cm)

Foliage Type: EvergreenFlower Colour: Green, Yellow
Foliage Colour: GreenFlowering Period: March to May

Soil Type: Normal/Loam
Soil Moisture: Moist, but well drained

The leaves of Laurus noblis are a well know aromatic herb; bay leaves and are used to flavour many dishes either fresh or dried. The leaves are evergreen, thick, leathery and dark green. They are fragrant when crushed.

Laurus noblis is a dioecious plant, meaning that male and female flowers grow on separate plants. The flowers are green-yellow and are produced in spring. Female plants develop round, black berries after the flowers.

If possible grow Laurus noblis in a sheltered site because strong, cold winds can burn the foliage. It should also be well watered during its growing months and can benefit from the occasional feed with a slow release fertiliser.

Laurus noblis responds well to regular clipping and can be used for topiary, with common examples being ball or pyramid shapes. Established plants will need a few clippings during the summer season to help retain its shape. Clipping is best done with secateurs, not shears. However, it can take a while to train the plant into these shapes as it is quite slow growing.