Cherry Laurel - Prunus laurocerasus

    Alternative names
    English Laurel

    P. laurocerasus is a vigorous, large, spreading evergreen shrub with  glossy dark green leaves to 15cm in length. Small white flowers in erect racemes to 12cm in length are followed by cherry-like glossy red fruits soon turning black.

    The commonly planted cultivar 'Otto Luyken' has narrower leaves and flowers again in autumn.

    Similar Species

    Prunus lusitanica, other large -leaved evergreen species like Rhododendrons

    Identification difficulty
    ID guidance

    Evergreen, flowers in long racemes; petioles and 1st year stems green, leaves crenate/slightly serrate

    Recording advice

    Photograph of shoot with leaves


    Occasionally planted and sometimes escaping from cultivation.

    When to see it

    All year round - flowering around May.

    Life History

    Evergreen shrub.

    UK Status

    Widespread in Britain as a planted shrub and occasional escape.  It may well be increasing as an established plant in the wild.

    VC55 Status

    Occasional escape which may occur in woodland or hedgerow.  It may be increasing as an established plant in our area. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 38 of the 617 tetrads.

    be our species champion

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

    UK Map