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.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


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

UK Map

Species profile

Common names
Cherry Laurel
Species group:
Trees, Shrubs & Climbers
Records on NatureSpot:
First record:
25/04/2007 (Dave Wood)
Last record:
29/04/2023 (Gaten, Ted)

Total records by month

% of records within its species group

10km squares with records

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