Saratoga Bay Laurel. This outstanding Bay Laurel was introduced by the Saratoga Horticultural Research Foundation in California which is dedicated to introducing new and superior cultivars of botanical subjects. This plant is thought to be a hybrid between the more familiar Bay Laurel, Laurus nobilis and the lesser know species Laurus azorica. The plant was found by Frank Serpa of Fremont, CA, in the 1950's. An initial selection was made and then backcrossed to Laurus azorica. The leaf is larger and more round than L. nobilis with attractive yellow flowers from February until April. Since it is a male selection, no fruit are borne. The Saratoga Foundation states, "The stems and leaves of this plant, when crushed are strongly aromatic with the typical fragrance of Bay, and the leaves can be used for culinary purposes in the same way as those of the Bay Tree." The Bay Laurels have the unique qualities that render them as great subjects for training as topiaries or multi-trunked small trees. Their trunks are exceptionally smooth giving them an almost surreal appearance. They do well as container plants or in the landscape as large shrubs, hedges or small trees when planted on well drained soils with an average to less amounts of moisture. This selection is also more resistant to insect pests than L. nobilis.