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laurus nobilis L.
The source of Latin laurus for the tree is unclear, but the word is not related to Latin laus praise.
The English term bay leaf (Middle English baye, OldFrench baie) derives from Latin baca berry, meaning originally the fruits.
engl: bay laurel
German: echter Lorbeer
KINGDOMS - PLANTS - botanic family - angiospermia - dicotyledones - monochlamydeae - laurales
Description of the substance
Description: A broadly conical tree, this species grows up to 40 ft (12 m) high and 30 ft (9 m) wide, but is generally smaller in cultivation. Its glossy, dark green leaves are smooth and leathery and in Classical times were used to make the victor's 'crown of laurels'. It produces small, star-shaped, fragrant yellow flowers in late spring to early summer, followed by small, round, green berries that ripen to dark purplish black in fall (autumn). This tree is particularly suited to clipping and shaping
Probably Asia Minor. Today, the laurel tree grows all over the Mediterranean. Turkey is one of the main exporters. Because of its poor resistance to freezes, laurel cannot be grown outdoors in more Northern regions (except some fortunate parts of Britain, I have been told). Contrary to some other originally Mediterranean plants, the common cultivation in medieval monasteries has not lead to more hardybreds (see also lovage).
Habitat: Damp rocks and ravines, thickets and old walls