Botanical name: Laurus nobilis
Another ornamental you can eat! Bay is a slow-growing tree, but this particular one has potential as an ornamental bush if branches developing at the base of the trunk are allowed to grow.
This young tree is putting on good summer growth, and is about 450 mm high not including the pot, which is 160 mm diameter and 180 mm high.
Bay laurel is the source plant of bay leaves which feature in French, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Indian cuisines. The leaves are also used to repel insects.
Fresh leaves picked just moments before they go in the pot are so superior to the dried packaged ones! Far more aromatic and flavoursome. Add whole to soups and casseroles so you can fish them out at the end. Add some whole leaves to chicken as it poaches, or to rice as it cooks by the absorbent method to impart a subtle flavour to the food as well as a beautiful smell to the house.
Dried bay leaves are used as an insect repellent, so as an added bonus simply pick a few more leaves to let dry in your pantry, under the fridge, or in cupboards in place of mothballs — they’ll need replacing every few months though.
The plant itself also deters insects, so may be useful kept near house entrances — especially if a bushy rather than upright growth in the ground is encouraged.
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