BARG-e BŪ (or deraḵt-e ḡār; Eng. laurel and sweet bay), Laurus nobilis, the most popular species of the family Lauraceae, the one used for laurel wreaths. The tree is common in Persian gardens. It has stiff, dull green leaves, which, when dry, are used to flavor food, and edible purple, sweet, and fragrant fruits. The oil extracted from the fruit has a spicy odor and is officinal. The tree contains essential oil (1.25 percent in the leaves); the fruit contains fatty oil (28 percent in the pulp, 72 percent in the seeds).
The laurel family has alternate, simple, often evergreen, exstipulate leaves; panicles or umbels of flowers; and one-seeded drupes or berries. The species is mostly represented in Brazil and southwestern Asia. Trees of the genus Laurus are native to the Mediterranean region. They are characterized by dark, evergreen leaves, inconspicuous, dioecious flowers in little axillary umbels and small, succulent, purple, cherry-like berries. They are usually about 5-6 m tall but may attain three times this height.
Encyclopaedia Americana III, 1963, p. 358; XVII, 1952, p. 97.
H. P. Kelsey and W. A. Dayton, Standardized Plant Names, Harrisburg, Pa., 1942, p. 329.
I. V. Palivin, “Lauraceae,” in Flora of U.S.S.R. VII, 1937, p. 572.
A. Parsa, Flore de l’Iran, Tehran, IV, 1949, p. 1191; VII, 1959, p. 85; VIII, 1960, p. 110.
H. Ṯābetī, Jangalhā,deraḵtān o deraḵṭčahā-ye Īrān, 2nd ed., Tehran, 1355 Š./1976.
Originally Published: December 15, 1988
Last Updated: December 15, 1988
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Vol. III, Fasc. 8, pp. 794-795