Alphabetical Plant Listing

Prunus lusitanica (Portugal Laurel)

Portugal Laurel, Cherry Bay, Portuguese Laurel Cherry


Native to the Iberian Peninsula, Prunus lusitanica (Portugal Laurel) is a beautiful, large evergreen shrub or small tree with dark brown bark, glossy dark green, leathery leaves (5 in. long or 12 cm), and stems of a lovely deep rhubarb color. It is decorated in late spring or early summer with a profusion of pretty racemes of fragrant, tiny white flowers, which are followed by small red cherries that ripen to dark-purple by fall. While the ripe berries should not be consumed, birds will strip them all once they are ripe. Portugal Laurel is a superb plant for hedges, screens and windbreaks.

  • Grows up with a dense, spreading, bushy habit to 25 ft. tall (7.5 m) and 15 ft. wide (4.5 m)
  • Recipient of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society and winner of the Gold Medal Award of The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.
  • A full sun or part shade lover, this plant is easily grown in moderately fertile, moist, well-drained soils. Thrives on poor, shallow, chalky soils too. Portugal laurel is slightly slower growing than cherry laurel (Prunus caroliniana), but more tolerant of heat, sun, wind and drought.
  • Perfect as a specimen plant, for hedges or screens and in shrub borders.
  • Deer resistant!
  • Low maintenance, the leaves of this lovely shrub may be damaged by vine weevil, leaf-mining moths or powdery mildews
  • Propagate by softwood cuttings in early summer
  • Leaves and fruit may be harmful if ingested

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Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 9
Heat Zones 4 – 9
Climate Zones 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 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 10' – 15' (3m – 4.5m)
Spacing 144" (360cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Plant of Merit, Showy, Evergreen, Fruit & Berries
Tolerance Deer, Drought
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Hedges and Screens
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Informal and Cottage, Traditional Garden

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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 4 – 9
Heat Zones 4 – 9
Climate Zones 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 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 10' – 15' (3m – 4.5m)
Spacing 144" (360cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Plant of Merit, Showy, Evergreen, Fruit & Berries
Tolerance Deer, Drought
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Hedges and Screens
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Informal and Cottage, Traditional Garden

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