Monday, April 21, 2008

California Bay Laurel

Another native evergreen tree, Umbellularia californica leaves are pungently aromatic, similar smelling but stronger than the mediterranean Bay Laurel used in cooking. I've read conflicting reports about whether the nuts were ever eaten, but these days the fresh leaves are popularly used, crushed, in sweater drawers to repel moths. Unfortunately, the California Bay is a prime host of Sudden Oak Death, a disease that can do serious damage to its arboreal cohorts. I'm suspicious of the dark spots seen here on a young tree along Route 20 just west of town.

1 comment:

Troop 1309 said...

I never knew they carried the Sudden Oak Death. Learn something new everyday!