|Bay laurel (Laurus nobilis) leaves and branches|
Laurus nobilis is an aromatic evergreen tree or large shrub with green, glabrous smooth leaves, in the flowering plant family Lauraceae. It is native to the Mediterranean region and is used as bay leaf for seasoning in cooking. Its common names include bay tree (esp. United Kingdom), bay laurel, sweet bay, true laurel, Grecian laurel, or simply laurel. Laurus nobilis figures prominently in classical Greco-Roman culture.
Worldwide, many other kinds of plants in diverse families are also called "bay" or "laurel", generally due to similarity of foliage or aroma to Laurus nobilis.
bay leaf (plural bay leaves)
- A herb derived from any of certain shrubs of the family Lauraceae and Myrtaceae.