Bay Rum Spice Tree (pimenta racemosa)

Highly ornamental peeling trunk tree with wonderfully aromatic leaves which can be used in cooking and the brewing of teas. The bark on the trunk of this tree curls and peels in an exfoliating fashion and is often grown primarily for this feature. However, this tree is normally grown for the harvest of the leaves to make a distilled oil or “bay rum” fragrance. Originally the wilted leaves were steeped in rum and water before distillation, which may explain the name ‘Bay Rum’. Flowers are white, fragrant and delicately fluffy in appearance and slowly give way to small inedible, berry like fruit. The berries, which smell of cinnamon and clove are used as essential oils and stiff leathery leaves are used as food flavorings around the world.

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