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Laurus nobilis

Grecian Laurel, Sweet Bay
  • Plant Type:
  • Shrub, Tree
  • Evergreen-Deciduous:
  • Evergreen
  • Overall Mature Size:
  • Medium
  • Also Grown As:
  • Bush, Column, Large Shrub/Small Tree, Standard Tree
  • Mature Height & Spread :
  • 15-35' x 15-35'
  • Natural Growth Habit:
  • Oval
  • Native To:
  • Europe
  • Exposure:
  • Full Sun, Partial Shade
  • Water:
  • Medium Water
  • Flower Color:
  • Yellow
  • Bloom Time:
  • Spring
  • Special Features:
  • Desert Conditions, Drought Resistant, Edible, Screen, Seacoast Conditions, Shade Tolerant
  • Container Sizes:
  • #5, #15, 24" Box, 36" Box
  • Sunset Garden Zones:
  • 5-9, 12-24


Laurus nobilis is among Boething Treeland Farms’ most popular trees. Referenced in ancient texts, this evergreen bears leathery deep green leaves that figure prominently as a seasoning in Mediterranean cuisine. Its growth habit is slow and vertical with dense foliage covering a naturally rounded head. It can be pruned to form a canopy that would be excellent in lawns or on the street. More commonly it is used in courtyards and in gardens featuring other edibles and can be used for container, specimen or shade. It is often used for topiaries because of its dense foliage. Thanks to its native habitat, Laurus nobilis is tolerant of variable soils and climates (desert to ocean) and requires little supplemental water once established. Given full sun or partial shade in Western Garden Zones 5-9, 12-24, H1 and H2, it will prove a dependable fragrant tree that will top 35’ if left alone but is alternatively very successful pruned to a much smaller size in a container. If it was good enough for Aristotle and Roman heroes, then perhaps it will be good enough for your clients!