Bay Laurel

Laurus nobilis
Lauraceae
Bay Laurel Laurus noblis it true to its luxuriant name in the NIV Bible
Bay Laurel Laurus noblis it true to its luxuriant name in the NIV Bible
I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree. Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found. Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.
Psalm 37:35-37 KJV
Bay Laurel Laurus noblis it true to its luxuriant name in the NIV Bible
Hear the word of the Lord. This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am about to set fire to you, and it will consume all your trees, both green and dry.
Ezekiel 20:47

Cultural Information

TypeEdible Tree
Height40 to 60 feet at maturity
Soilwell-drained, slightly sandy
Exposurefull sun
Leavesevergreen, oblong, pointed, aromatic, luxuriant green in spring, deepening color over summer
Flowersunassuming, small, pale, creamy flowers in spring
Fruitdark, berry-sized non-edible drupe fruits

Planting Tips

  • tender Zone 8 hardiness, protect from freezing winds
  • keep moisture even; do not over-water
  • few pests or diseases
  • good as a container plant and topiary
  • slow growing, bushy, oval habit

Garden to Table

  • bay laurel is a great plant to grow yourself; dry leaves you have enjoyed from the spice jar are even more fragrant and flavorful when fresh
  • plant in a container pot and move indoors for holiday decoration if you live in northern, colder zones
  • sprigs and branches make excellent greenery in garnish and bouquets
  • make bay leaf wreaths and swags as your plant grows larger; order them from farmers and growers in the meantime
  • many soup recipes include bay leaves among their ingredients
  • add bay leaves to boiling water when cooking artichokes

Additional Resources

See Blog Posts on Bay Laurel
The use of the verdant leaves in the dry state plays along with a subtle allusion spoken by Jesus. If the green tree was being brought down, how much more would it happen when dry, he asked rhetorically (Luke 23:31), as he bore the cross on the way to his death sentence — execution on a dry tree stake...this brief utterance, [was] mentioned in a moment when it appeared that evil and injustice were winning (Psalm 37:35), the righteous Jesus, condemned as a criminal...
-from the NIV God's Word for Gardeners Bible
Bay Laurel Laurus noblis it true to its luxuriant name in the NIV Bible
Hear the word of the Lord. This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am about to set fire to you, and it will consume all your trees, both green and dry.
Ezekiel 20:47

Photo Credits

© 2014 Shelley S. Cramm Bay laurel, one gallon size, newly planted in a Texas garden
©2008 Josh S. Jackson from Flickr Creative Commons Laurus nobilis in California
© 2014 Shelley S. Cramm Bay leaves make excellent garlands and swags which will dry and be useful in cooking all year
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