Laurus nobilis. GRECIAN LAUREL, SWEET BAY. Mediterranean
LAURACEAE (Laurel family)
The leaves, which need scrubbing, have a fragrance that they retain when dried and are used in flavoring soups and stews. Eating laurel leaves, Roman authors said, enabled one to foresee the future. California laurel, Umbellularia californica, is used for cooking too, and may be sold in packages labeled simply Bay Leaves, but a whole leaf is too much. Laurel has small yellowish flowers followed by 1/2 inch black berries.
Specimens can be seen on Santa Teresa Street, three each at the northeast and northwest corners of Lagunita Court dormitory. A specimen with six trunks is on the southeast side of the Angel of Grief (northeast of the Mausoleum). Twenty laurels (in two rows of 10) are between Lantana and Castaño halls, on the west side. Several more are between those and the Manzanita Dining Commons.
Illus.: McMinn, Howard E. and Evelyn Maino. 1951. An illustrated manual of Pacific coast trees; with lists of trees recommended for various uses on the Pacific coast by H. W. Shepherd. 2d ed. Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press.
Illustrations (links open new windows): habit |Additions/Revisions: Several plants of a dwarf selection are planted near the intersection of Lasuen and Serra malls, near the corner of Dohrmann Grove, along with Rhamnus californica and Pittosporum undulatum. In bloom February 2005.
Name derivation, genus | speciesRelated material: Canopy Trees for Palo Alto Tree Library