Bay (Laurus nobilis) is an evergreen shrub that’s grown for its aromatic leaves, known as bay leaves. Bay leaves are used in a variety of dishes and are the main ingredient in a ‘bouquet garni’. They can be used dried or fresh.
In recent years, bay trees have become a popular choice for formal pot displays. Often sold trained as a standard or shaped, bay is sometimes used as an alternative to yew or box topiary. Potted standard bay trees are most often positioned either side of a front door as a formal, year-round display.
Bay is a dioecious plant, which means it has male and female flowers on separate plants. Male and female plants are not identified in garden centres, as most gardeners only grow them for their foliage. The flowers are insignificant and the berries inedible.