Alphabetical Plant Listing

Prunus caroliniana (Carolina Cherry Laurel)

Carolina Cherry-laurel, Cherry-laurel, Laurel Cherry, Carolina Laurel Cherry, Laurocerasus caroliniana


Attractive and fast-growing, Prunus caroliniana (Carolina Cherry Laurel) is a dense evergreen shrub or small tree of pyramidal-oval habit with smooth, glossy dark green leaves, 2-4 in. long (5-10 cm), with pointed tips. The leaves and stems emit an almond scent when bruised. In late winter to mid spring, a profusion of sweetly fragrant, tiny white flowers held in dense racemes, 2-3 in. long (5-7 cm), appear among the leaves. They attract bees and other pollinating insects. They are followed by small, fleshy, reddish purple cherries that ripen to shiny black by fall and persist through winter. While the ripe berries should not be consumed, birds will strip them all once they are ripe. Smooth in youth, the bark becomes more irregular with age, dark gray to almost black. Prunus caroliniana is a superb plant for hedges, screens and windbreaks.

  • Grows up to 20-30 ft. tall (600-900 cm) and 15-25 ft. wide (450-750 cm). Will self-seed in the landscape.
  • A full sun or part shade lover, this plant is easily grown in moist, well-drained soils. Drought tolerant once established. Prolonged soil saturation can cause root rot, particularly in clay soils. Shallow, nutrient-poor, rocky soils can cause chlorosis and heat stress.
  • Perfect as a specimen plant, for hedges or screens and in shrub borders. Great for coastal areas.
  • No serious pest or disease issues. Keep an eye out for borers and mites. Deer resistant.
  • Carolina Cherry Laurel does not like being severely pruned.
  • Propagate by seed, semi-hardwood cuttings, softwood cuttings.
  • Seeds, twigs, and leaves may be harmful if ingested
  • Native to the Southern United States, from coastal Virginia to northern Florida, west to Louisiana.

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Requirements

Hardiness 7 – 10
Climate Zones 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Shrubs, Trees
Plant Family Prunus - Flowering Trees
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 20' – 30' (6m – 9m)
Spread 15' – 25' (4.5m – 7.5m)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy, Evergreen, Fruit & Berries
Native Plants United States, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Southwest, Texas
Tolerance Deer, Drought
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Hedges and Screens
Garden Styles Coastal Garden, Informal and Cottage

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Bri Weldon, Homer Edward Price, Flickr

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 7 – 10
Climate Zones 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Shrubs, Trees
Plant Family Prunus - Flowering Trees
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 20' – 30' (6m – 9m)
Spread 15' – 25' (4.5m – 7.5m)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy, Evergreen, Fruit & Berries
Native Plants United States, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Southwest, Texas
Tolerance Deer, Drought
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Hedges and Screens
Garden Styles Coastal Garden, Informal and Cottage

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Prunus - Flowering Trees

Guides with Prunus - Flowering Trees

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