Botanical name: Laurus nobilis
Some other names: Sweet Laurel, Sweet Bay, Noble Laurel, True Laurel
How to grow it:
Slow growing tree to 10m. Likes full sun and good drainage, but is hardy to a wide range of conditions.
Excellent plant for a large pot as roots grow much slower than a lot of trees and require pruning or potting up less often.
Propogation is from cuttings, but this can be difficult – best to find an established seedling or bush unless you’re an expert.
In the kitchen:
Fresh leaves are by far the best – straight from the plant into the pot. Dried leaves are also useful but have a noticeably different (and less pungent) aroma.
Usually at the start of cooking, bay leaves are added to all manner of casseroles, indian curries, soups and stocks, boiled vegetables, boiled and roasted meats – even desserts!
Can also be added to herbal teas and left in kitchen cupboards are said to repel cockroaches.