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Bay Leaves (Laurus Nobilis), also known as Bay Laurel, Bay Leaf, Bay, Laurel, and Sweet Bay, originated in Turkey. Bay Laurel is a pyramid-shaped tree or shrub with aromatic evergreen leaves with shiny gray bark. It can reach a height of 60 feet in its native range, but generally is much smaller, 3-10 feet tall. The leaves are elliptic 3-4 inches long, rather thick, leathery and shiny dark green. Clusters of small yellow flowers are produced in spring. On the female plants, these flowers are followed by shiny black or purple berries approximately 0.5 inches long. Bay Laurel thrives with frequent watering in rich well drained soil.
Bay Leaves are used, either fresh or dried, as a spicy aromatic flavoring in soups, stews, etc. The fruit can also be used for flavoring.