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Prunus lusitanica
  • RHS AGM

Portugal laurel

P. lusitanica is a large evergreen shrub or small tree of spreading habit, the dark red shoots bearing deep green ovate leaves. Small, fragrant white flowers in racemes to 25cm in length in early summer, are followed by small, dark purple fruits

Other common names
cherry bay
Portuguese laurel cherry

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Size
Ultimate height
Higher than 12 metres
Time to ultimate height
20–50 years
Ultimate spread
Wider than 8 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer White Green
Autumn Green Purple
Winter Green
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

North–facing or South–facing or West–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Drought resistance
Yes
Hardiness
H5
Botanical details
Family
Rosaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Bushy
Potentially harmful
Leaves and fruit may be harmful if ingested. Wear gloves and wash hands after handling
Genus

Prunus can be deciduous or evergreen trees or shrubs with showy flowers in spring, and often good autumn foliage colour. Some have edible fruit in autumn, and a few species have ornamental bark

Name status

Correct

Plant range
Iberian Peninsula

How to grow

Cultivation

Easy to grow in any moist but well-drained moderately fertile soil in sun or partial shade. Superb hedging shrub and even thrives on poor, shallow, chalky soils

Propagation

Propagate by softwood cuttings in early summer

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Low Maintenance
  • Hedging and screens
Pruning

Pruning group 8 including hedges pruned in late spring or early summer

Pests

Leaves may be damaged by vine weevil and leaf-mining moths

Diseases

May be affected by powdery mildews

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