Laurel Trees

Laurel Tree Life

Laurels can be tall trees or short bushes. Their leaves are oval; the tops are dark and shiny green. Depending on where you find a laurel, it might have purple berries or yellow berries. They are native to Mediterranean-type climates with wet, mild winters and hot, dry summers.

The Quest

In Northern California, the California Bay Laurel is common. Children love to sit on the trunk of the laurel tree, which has many crevices in its trunk for use as hiding places, treasure troves, or refuges for quiet thinking.

Bay leaves, a flavor often used in Italian cooking, are from a type of laurel tree. You can cook with a bay leaf so that you can taste the leaves of the laurel tree (just as koalas eat eucalyptus leaves).

In England, dark laurel bushes, small against the cold weather, stay green even as autumn winds blow.


Graduates and poets received wreaths of laurel in the past, a symbol of praise and scholarship. The Three Kings that visited Baby Jesus wore laurel wreaths.

In Japan, a giant and old laurel tabunoki tree has grown on a mountainside and guarded a temple for 700 years. They are trees of mountains and coasts. If you love mountains and coasts, this tree could be your own personal symbol.

Home Wildlife Viewing Tidepools Ocean Animal Database