laurel Lauraceae Laurus
nobilis L. symbol: LANO80
Leaf: Alternate, simple, entire or somewhat wavy margins, elliptical to lance-shaped, evergreen and somewhat leathery, 4 inches long, 1 to 2 inches wide, spicy odor when crushed, yellow-green and shiny above, pale green below.
Flower: Species is dioecious; small but quite showy, both male and females are bright yellow-green, borne on short racemes appearing in early to mid-spring.
Fruit: Dark blue round drupe 1/2 inch long; mature in early fall.
Twig: Moderately stout, green to red-brown, somewhat ridged; buds are short and red-brown.
Bark: Smooth and pale gray.
Form: Generally a small pyramidal tree but can reach 60 feet tall.
Looks like: myrtle
Additional Range Information: Laurus nobilis is planted in the USDA hardiness zones shown above and is not known to widely escape cultivaton.
External Links: USDA Plants Database
All material © 2018 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson; Silvics reprinted from Ag Handbook 654; range maps courtesy USGS from USDA "Atlas of United States Trees" by Elbert L. Little, Jr., Vol. 1 (1971) 3 (1976) 4 (1977) 5 (1978)