Those of you who live in warmer climates may wonder what on earth the fuss is about. Why am I taking pictures of flower buds on a culinary bay plant and posting about them?
So you can see the location of this plant: on an enclosed, glassed in porch, not heated, but getting no sun because it’s on the north side. (My sun loving herbs, like rosemary, and my tender conifers, are on the southern side of the porch. That’s how the poor bay wound up back here.)
I was never quite so shocked as I was today when I saw the flower buds on it. It’s not as if the plant hasn’t bloomed before. It has–that’s how I recognized the buds. But I didn’t expect it to bloom this early or in this location.
That’s one thing about plants. Every so often they still surprise me. It’s great!
This species is strangely uncommon here, even though it is quite happy in the climate. Unfortunately, many people do not understand that there is a difference between this culinary bay and the native California bay, which is actually a completely different genus. I use the native bay like the culinary bay, but only in moderation. It has a much stronger flavor, and is quite distinct. It can ruin a recipe if used as a substitute.
The tree is one of the more problematic trees here, since it grows into some awkward situations, and gets very large.
I have seen it in a botanic garden in Texas. It was quite large. I wish I could have seen my face when I realized what I was looking at! That was the trip that made my husband finally remark that I was clear clearly living in the wrong climate. I kept walking around pointing out plants to him and telling him that we had these same plants at home. And he would look puzzled and ask where. And my answer was always something like “in a container….” So that’s how he figured I was in the wrong climate. Everything I was pointing out in the botanic garden, I was growing as a tropical plant!