Common Names: bay laurel, true laurel, sweet bay
Type: Evergreen shrub or tree
Size: 20-30 ft. high, 20 ft. wide.
Flowers: Small yellow flowers, spring; followed by black or purple berries; leaves are tough and fragrant.
Uses: Background shrub, screen, or tree. Tolerates salt spray, wind, heat. Fire resistive.
Wildlife: Attracts birds. Deer resistant.
Soil: Fertile and well-drained.
Water: Low once established.
Sun: Full sun to some shade.
Pruning: Can be shaped as hedge or tree. Prune to control height and shape. Otherwise, no pruning needed.
Pests & Diseases: Powdery mildew and black mold, anthracnose, insects such as sapsuckers; black scale, laurel psyllids.
Notes: ‘Saratoga’ variety is more treelike and has broader leaves. Leaves used in cooking. Another member of the Lauraceae family is the Camphor Tree (Cinnamomum camphora). Hardy to 0° F.