Santa Cruz County has a wide assortment of tree species grown and some great examples located in public spaces. Trees are covered like a field guide. Walking and Driving tree tours are listed on the right. I am looking for the best trees in the county. Looking for help? Find a great specimen? Let me know.
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Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Laurus nobilis - Grecian Laurel
The Grecian laurel is from the Mediterranean region and yields "bay" leaves and "laurels" used by the Greeks. Its a slow growing evergreen tree to about 35', usually multi-stemmed with a wide spreading form after its upright youth. Not sure why you would plant it, do you really need that many bay leaves?
Leaves are evergreen, alternate, simple, 2-4" long, narrowly elliptical or lanceolate, entire margins, sharp pointed tip and fragrant. Glossy, dark green as well.
The cultivar 'Saratoga' released by the Saratoga Horticultural Foundation has rounded leaves.
Flowers are borne early spring, in clusters at the ends of last years growth. Plants are males or females.
These are the flower buds.
The trees are often multi-stemmed as seen here. Bark is generally gray and smooth.
Misidentification: The California bay perhaps. Both multi-stemmed generally, both with very fragrant foliage. The Ca bay tree has lighter green leaves, and a fleshy fruit like a small avocado.