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Laurel - poisonous??

 
Alison Thomas
pollinator
Posts: 933
Location: France
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I've always thought that laurel was poisonous.  Indeed (following a link given by paul for something else) Marc Bonfils states "Walnut, laurel, pink laurel, goldenchain laburnum, cytlsus scoparius (scotch broom), yew & box leaves are very -poisonous for animals ( and humans)."
http://permaculturefrance.org/fr/content/article/fodder-trees-temperate-climate-marc-bonfils


However, my goats just can't seem to get enough of laurel.  They have free-range over 12 acres and they chose to spend all their time eating the laurel trees leaves and bark - have even climbed into it - and have eaten all the cytisus and its bark such that I don't think it will grow this year.  They've been doing this for 2 months now and they seem quite well.  Is it one of those myths like false acacia?  or will they die?
 
Alice Kaspar
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Depending on your location, different things are called Laurel.  I am familiar with "mountain laurel" that smells like grape bubble gum when it blooms, but a neighbor has a weird looking thing that makes a tiny plum like fruit, and he calls it laurel.

What your goats are eating..... que pasa?
 
                    
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Bay Laurel (aka 'noble larel' aka bay leaf) is a rather nice addition to soups and stews. But like Alice said, many different plants are called laurel, and some are poisonous.
 
                        
Posts: 40
Location: Berkeley,CA
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Since you are in France you naturally have the European laurel which is much, Much milder that the California bay laurel which is so strong that if you crush a leaf and inhale it nearly knocks you on your butt.  Paul's link was probably referring to the US variety.
 
Burra Maluca
Mother Tree
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The leaves of English Cherry Laurel Prunus laurocerasus are used by bug collectors in their killing jars, so I guess they must be pretty toxic.  I think they give off some sort of cyanide, but I'm not sure if that's what does the killing or if it's a combination of different chemicals. 
 
It's in the permaculture playing cards. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/cards
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