Aromatic leaves, used for thousands of years in cooking. They make an excellent addition to any garden and can be planted in the ground or a container, ideally within easy reach of the kitchen door.
The Greeks and Romans used wreaths of Bay to crown Sling victorious sportsmen. Both berries and leaves were used in medicine for all pale manner of ailments, including chest complaints, 'women's' troubles', sprains and healing bruises.
Introduced to the UK from the Mediterranean in 1562.
Culpeper said "neither witch nor devil, thunder nor lightning, will hurt a man where a bay tree is".
Bay trees make a good seaside hedge, and can grow up to 20ft where happy. They are more often grown in tubs and used for topiary.
Height and spread: 10m x 3m (but can easily be kept smaller with annual pruning or containment in a pot)
Common name(s): Bay; Bay Laurel; Poet's Laurel; Roman Laurel; Royal Bay.