A Case of Mistaken Identity

The Herb LadyUncategorized1 Comment

Herbs, Azores Laurel

I was so excited last fall to finally be able to purchase a bay laurel. So excited, in fact, that I didn’t examine the plant closely. I took a closer look when I got it home and realized that something wasn’t right. The label clearly said Laurus nobilis, but the leaves looked too round. Bay laurel leaves should be long and pointy, not round.

So I did a little research and discovered that there are several species of laurels, only one of which has rounded rather than lance shaped leaves: Laurus azorica. As the names implies, it is found on the Azores. A related species, Laurus novocanariensis, grows on the Canary Islands but that one has the characteristic lance-shaped leaves.

Herbs, Laurus nobilis

Laurus nobilis

Laurus azorica is not only rare, it is considered endangered. I don’t know how it ended up at my local nursery but I will always treasure it.

This spring, I was finally able to buy a Laurus nobilis at the Rutgers Gardens Spring Flower Fair. I’m looking forward to using its leaves in my fall soups and stews.

One Comment on “A Case of Mistaken Identity”

  1. I have planted my new devroatice garden which, ok I admit I only planted it so it could attract bees to pollinate my tomato’s. any way, I heard that you have to have flowers all year round so you keep your bees coming. so I want to know of some good variety’s to look out for that bloom in autumn, early winter, late winter etc, for New Zealand climate, and Bees are also attracted to blue and purple, know some good ones, I don’t know what the ones I have are called. I have some that start in spring and some that are just about to bloom.err, your nearly right about bees hibernating, but honey bees don’t hibernate and they are much better pollinators than bumbles. that’s why I want flowers in the winter, sorry about the other miss understanding that I don’t actually want a bloom that lasts all year, I want to have one bloom starting to flower at the time another finishes, however, the information you gave is help full, thank you.

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