Bay cedar is a native florida shrub reaching a height of 5 - 20 feet. It has a somewhat oval-shaped, spreading dense crown, a branched trunk and gracefully arching branches. It has attractive, dark brown, rough, flaky bark. Leaves are borne spirally at the branch ends and are evergreen, gray-green in color, alternate, simple, entire, spatulate in shape, downy and less than 2 inches long. Flowers are yellow, small, about 5/16 inch long, cup-shaped, borne singly or in clusters and inconspicuous, attracting butterflies. Fruits are round, hard, brown, hairy, 5-pointed capsule, about 1/2 inch long, attracting birds. Seeds are used for propagation. Mixtures made from the leaf and branches are used in herbal medicine. The wood is hard, dark red and polishes very well. Bay cedar grows in a range of well-drained soils and has no serious pests. It is uncommon as a florida landscape plant, but has applications as a buffer hedge, planted in medians or around parking lots and in containers. With pruning, it can be formed into a small tree. It is especially suited to coastal areas and ideal for a native plant garden.