Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Lauris nobilis 'Flavour Master', Bay Tree

Lauris nobilis 'Flavour Master' PBR

Ordinary Bay leaf (left) 'Flavour Master' (right)
Depending on where you live in the world this bay tree goes by different names. In California it is known as 'Saratoga' and in New Zealand as 'Tuscan Treasure'. I quite like the Aussie name because it reflects out obsession with cooking competition shows such as Masterchef and MKR. A crown of bay leaves for whoever is victorious in the kitchen and a nice wad of cash as well.
I like to plant a bay tree in whatever garden I make so I was pleased to get this new variety. It is thought to be a hybrid between Lauris nobilis and Lauris azorica, the Canary Island laurel with its characteristic ovoid shaped leaves. Growing to around 1.8 metres x 0.4 metres, it has a tight compact and upright habit making it ideal for topiary or hedge use. The Californian study shows it is also more resistant to attack by scale insects and resulting sooty mould.
The oval, almost spoon shaped leaves are a bonus because it is easy to roll and tie other aromatics at its centre to throw into the pot when making a stock or stew.

A bay laurel wreath in this Olympic year.

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