Lauraceae (family name)
Forage for Pollinators: Provides Nectar for Honeybees, short-tongued Bumblebees and Solitary bees.
Flowering time: May, June.
Growing information: EVERGREEN TREE growing to 1.5m (5ft) by 1.2m (4ft) in ten years, and can reach 18ft or so in Southern UK; it is hardy to minus 17ºC. Tolerates a wide range of soil and pH from acid to alkaline, but prefers well-drained soil. For good nectar flow, plant in a warm, sheltered, well-drained part of the garden. Keep the plant mulched around its roots during winter, especially when young, as the tree can better survive the cold if its roots are kept warmer in the ground. Can be a good container subject, in milder parts of the country. Masses of inconspicuous yellow-green flowers provide nectar in warm weather. This is the classic culinary Bay Tree, which has a long history of folk use as an aid to digestion (adding a few leaves to beef stew is thought to make the meat far more digestible), and in the treatment of some ailments such as bronchitis and influenza. It has also been used to treat various types of cancer. The trees are dioecious (Plants produce either male or female flowers so both need to be grown for fruiting). We are unable to say which trees are male and which female before they reach maturity at around 8 – 10 years old.
Photo by: Júlio Reis