Sweet Bay

Laurus nobilis 'Saratoga'

Laurus nobilis (Grecian Laurel) - full view

Full view

Laurus nobilis (Grecian Laurel) - leaves

Foliage detail

Laurus nobilis (Grecian Laurel) - bark

Bark detail

  • Size:

    Height 15-25'; Spread 15-20'

  • Growth:


  • Character:

    Evergreen; round form; dense canopy.

  • Foliage:

    Dark green, smooth, elliptic leaves, 2-4" long.

  • Flower:

    Small, yellow spring flowers in clusters. 

  • Fruit:

    Male trees have no fruit; female trees have purple-black berries, 1/4" across, which form in fall and drop in winter. 

  • Bark:

    Smooth, light gray bark darkens with age. 

  • Watering:

    In general, 15-20 gallons per week for the first 2 years; 15-20 gallons twice a month for the 3rd year; as needed after 3 years (varies by soil, sun, and wind conditions).

  • Tree Care:

    Moderate to high tree care needed depending on quality of planting stock. Early pruning needed to train a good shape; pruning needed less frequently with age.

  • Tolerance:

    Drought (once established), sandy or rocky soil, salt air, gusty or cold winds, smog, temperature extremes.

  • Special Considerations:

    Prefers sun and needs good drainage. Prone to suckering; big root crown; susceptible to thrips, psyllids, insects, aphids, scale, mealybugs, and powdery mildew in San Francisco.

  • Notable Traits:

    The aromatic, dried leaves can be used in cooking as a seasoning. Attracts birds.