If you, like I, have at times wondered if the bay trees around town are the same ones that bay leaves used in cooking come from, here’s a little tidbit from Friends of the Urban Forest about how you can tell.
Waiter, there’s a tree in my soup
Arboreal News: Grecian Laurel
The Grecian Laurel (Laurus nobilis), also known as the Bay Laurel or Sweet Bay, produces the aromatic, dark green, smooth leaves often used in cooking soups, stews, meat, seafood and vegetable dishes.
In San Francisco, this evergreen tree is susceptible to pests and powdery mildew, so we don’t often recommend it as a street tree. Nonetheless it’s scattered all over the city, and it’s now in bloom, with clusters of small yellow flowers.
You can see a beautiful example at 220 Eureka Street in the Eureka Valley neighborhood.
Please read more here.