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Prunus laurocerasus

Common Name(s):

This plant has high severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Good screen for shaded areas; salt spray tolerant; avoid excessive fertilizer; can be severely pruned; dwarf cultivars available. Works well as a tall hedge or screen, planted in mass in a woodland or shade garden or a specimen plant. This plant has escaped cultivation on the Pacific coast west of the Cascades and is classified there as a weed of concern.  

HIGHLY TOXIC MAY BE FATAL IF EATEN!

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: Better resistance than most other species in the genus Prunus. Susceptible to shot-hole disease, powdery mildew, and root rot.

Cultivars:
  • 'Forest Green'
  • 'Otto Luyken'
    compact cultivar 3'-4' tall 6'-8' wide
  • 'Zabeliana'
Tags:
#evergreen#showy flowers#birds#fragrant flowers#heavy shade#wildlife plant#fragrance#shade tolerant#weedy#salt tolerant#drupe#cpp
Cultivars:
  • 'Forest Green'
  • 'Otto Luyken'
    compact cultivar 3'-4' tall 6'-8' wide
  • 'Zabeliana'
Tags:
#evergreen#showy flowers#birds#fragrant flowers#heavy shade#wildlife plant#fragrance#shade tolerant#weedy#salt tolerant#drupe#cpp
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Prunus
    Species:
    laurocerasus
    Family:
    Rosaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Europe
    Distribution:
    CA, OR, WA, British Columbia
    Wildlife Value:
    Fruits are relished by birds.
    Play Value:
    Wildlife Enhancement
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Salt spray tolerant.
    Edibility:
    The fruit is inedible with a bitter aftertaste.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 10 ft. 0 in. - 18 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 8 ft. 0 in. - 11 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Poisonous
    Shrub
    Tree
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Oval
    Rounded
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Purple/Lavender
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Drupe
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    purple to black fleshy drupe with a large pit (stone) in summer relished by birds
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Small fragrant elongated cluster, 5-parted, white flowers in spring
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Alternate, simple, smooth or toothed on the margin, lustrous dark green leaves; 2 to 6 in. long
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Design Feature:
    Flowering Tree
    Shade Tree
    Attracts:
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Heavy Shade
    Salt
  • Poison:
    Poison Severity:
    High
    Poison Symptoms:
    Gasping, weakness, excitement, pupil dilation, spasms, convulsions, coma, respiratory failure
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Cyanogenic glycoside, amygdalin
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Leaves
    Seeds
    Stems