Laurus’ means to praise and ‘nobilis’ means renowned or famous. In classical times, scholars and the victors in competitive sporting games were crowned with laurel leaves. The French educational term ‘baccalaureate’ is derived from ‘baccae lauri’, an old name for Laurus nobilis.
Grows in light forests near water. Widely grown for its culinary use.
The flowers are greenish yellow, 4 petalled, borne in small clusters in the leaf axils; male and female separate but on the same tree.
Lanceolate leaf is lance-shaped: long and widest in the middle, Elliptic oval leaf. Long, pointed to oval, speckled with oil glands, often with undulated margins.
Drupe: outer fleshy parts surround a shell or pit with a seed inside, 1-2 cm.
Leaves: together with parsley and thyme are the main ingredient in ‘bouquet garni’, used in soups, stews and sauces.
Leaves: used in food, to help the digestion and avoid bloating. They have antiseptic properties. A decoction of the leaves is used to treat mouth ulcers, inflammation of the gums and throat infections.