Prunus lusitanica

Scientific name: Prunus lusitanica


Common names: “Portugal laurel” “cherry bay” “Portuguese laurel cherry”

Plant Type: Evergreen shrub or small tree


Zone: 7-9

Light: Full sun – semi shade

Exposure: Exposed, takes wind, heat, seaside

Soil: Average, thrives on poor, shallow, chalky soils

Moisture: Moist well drained – drought tolerant


Plant Size: 10′-30′ H & W

Leaf and Stem shape: Dark red shoots bearing deep green ovate leaves.

Flower: Small, fragrant white flowers in racemes, in early summer, followed by small, dark purple fruits

Pruning: Can be cut back hard, rejuvenation pruning almost to trunk

Maintenance: Low

Landscape use: Hedging and screens

Propagate: By cuttings, birds spread the seed

Pests & Disease: Caterpillars

Comments: Tough, but overplanted, ~AGM winner

Cultivars: P. l. ‘Myrtifolia’ – ~AGM winner


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