Bay rum is a medium sized tree 12 - 36 feet tall but can be taller under ideal conditions. It has upright branches and a dense, columnar or pyramidal crown. It has attractive smooth grayish to light brown aromatic bark peeling off to reveal pinkish underbark. Leaves are dark green, leathery, glossy above dull below, entire, obovate in shape, 2 - 6 inches long and containing an aromatic essential oil. Flowers are white with many stamens, fragrant, about 3/8 inch wide and borne in rounded clusters. Fruits are ovoid, black at maturity, 3/8 - 1/2 inch long containing 1 - 4 seeds. The seeds are also fragrant and used as a substitute for allspice, as well as for propagation. Oil is extracted from the leaves and has multiple uses in fragrances, cosmetics, medicine and for aromatherapy. Bay rum wood is used in carpentry and for fence posts. In cultivation, the tree does well in fertile well-drained soils. It has multiple uses and applications in landscapes, as a backyard tree, street tree, open public spaces and recently in south florida to create screens of natural privacy hedges, grown with multiple trunks and branching to the ground to achieve the most density. Fairchild tropical garden highly recommends this tree for the landscape in the miami area. Several varieties of bay rum have been recognized.