Bay-rum tree


Bay-rum tree is native to the Antilles but is cultivated widely for ornament and for its aromatic leaves. It reaches a height of 40 feet, with a trunk 1 foot or more in diameter. The bark is smooth and peels in strips. The leaves are up to 4 inches long and when crushed produce a characteristic aroma. Flowers are up to three-eights of an inch in diameter, fragrant, and appear in terminal clusters. Ripe fruits are up to half an inch long and are crimson or almost black. It flowers during winter and spring, fruits mature generally during summer and fall. The leaves and the twigs produce an aromatic oil that is mixed with alcohol and other ingredients to prepare bay rum, a remedy formerly used to control fever. The generic name derives from the Spanish name for pepper, a tree of the same genus. The species name refers to the grouping of flowers in racemes.

The photographed tree is at the end of the Center for Research and Development‘s parking lot. There are several other trees in the campus; for example, northwest of the stands of the old athletic field, west of the Chardón Building, in the Piñero Building patio, east of Building B, and west of the Dean of Students Building.

Pimenta racemosa (Myrtaceae)