Bay tree, laurel
Vascular – Exotic
Dicotyledonous Trees & Shrubs
The National Vegetation Survey (NVS) Databank is a physical archive and electronic databank containing records of over 94,000 vegetation survey plots - including data from over 19,000 permanent plots. NVS maintains a standard set of species code abbreviations that correspond to standard scientific plant names from the Ngä Tipu o Aotearoa - New Zealand Plants database.
Terrestrial. Persistent cultivation relic, can invade intact bush, waste land and scrub.
Large dioecious shrub or small tree to about 7 m. Usually multi-stemmed with smooth trunks, stems and leaves hairless. The leaves are aromatic (especially when crushed) petiole up to 13 mm long often purplish. Lamina to about 13 x 4.5 cm, narrow elliptic with a slightly wavy margin. Male flowers are yellow while female flowers are white and are on separate plants. Fruits are black berries.
Has been confused with L. azorica. L. nobilis is reported to have shorter petioles and is less hairy, but there may be considerable overlap.
September, October, November
Reproduces by seed and suckers. Many of the trees in cultivation are male, so spread only by suckers. Where females are present many seeds are produced. Dispersed by birds and people.
Reason for introduction
Very shade tolerant.