Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Bay, generally used in English gardens as the name of the laurel, Laurus nobilis, an evergreen shrub native to southern Europe, reaching a height of from thirty to sixty feet. Branches of this plant were formed into crowns for heroes or for the statues of the gods in ancient times, and the name Laurus may be connected with the Latin laus, praise. Dried figs are packed in its aromatic leaves, and In this country these leaves are used as a flavour in cookery. To the student of plant structure the twelve stamens of the inconspicuous yellowish flowers are interesting from the valvular dehiscence of the anther. A showy garden plant, one of the willow herbs (Epilobium angustifolium), with rose-coloured flowers and bay-like leaves, is called Rose-bay. The Oil of Bay, or Bay-berry Oil, used in the manufacture of the American hair-wash Bay-Rum, is distilled from the berries of the allspice, Pimenta officinalis and P. acris.