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West Indian Bay Tree, Bay Rum Tree
Scientific Name: Pimenta racemosa (P. Miller) J. W. Moore
Synonym: Caryophyllus racemosus
Family: Myrtaceae
West Indian Bay Tree, Bay Rum Tree (Pimenta  racemosa)
Picture from Tropica Mango Nurseries
Recommended Temperature Zone:
USDA: 10-11

Frost Tolerance: Semi tender in Phoenix, leaf damage at 30 F (-1 C), limb damage at 26 F( -3 C)

Sun Exposure: Full sun to light shade

Origin: West Indies and possibly also in northern South America

Growth Habits:

Watering Needs: Regular water


The West Indian Bay Tree is native from the West Indies. It is related to the Allspice and its leaves are also used for cooking. It contains a fragrant oil that somewhat resembles clove oil. This oil used to be distilled in rum and water from the leaves, to produce bay rum, used as cologne. The fruit, bay rum and essential oil are toxic and should not be ingested.

Bay Rum Tree (as Pimenta racemosa var. grisea), U.S.D.A. Forest Service Collection, Courtesy of the Hunt Institute

Blooming Habits:
The bay rum tree inflorescence has 0.4 inch wide white flowers. They are followed by a black ovoid fruit, up to 0.5 inch long.

Fruiting Habits:

Tropica Mango Nurseries

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Desert-Tropicals is dedicated to provide gardening advice, gardening ideas, and information about flower of all kind for landscape and collections. We try to check carefully the identification of the plants on the illustrations as well as the other information from the page, but occasionally errors do occur. if you notice anything that needs to be changed please contact us. Thanks.

1998-2005 Philippe Faucon, All Rights Reserved.