Answer: Red bay (Persea borbonia) is a southeastern native used by early pioneers as a seasoning. Its leaves are about 2" wide and 5" long, are thick, dark-green lustrous on top and have a silvery sheen to the undersides. They are often somewhat deformed on one margin due to the effects of a gall type insect.
It is very difficult to find in the mail order trade. I would check with a local nursery specializing in native plants, or contact your local county Extension office for possible local sources.
Have you considered growing a bay laurel tree in a large tub, and moving it indoors for the winter months?
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