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Prunus lusitanica (Portugal laurel)

Beginner
skill rating
1 hour care
per year
15m
Max height
12m
Max spread
10-20 years
To maturity
Low
Toxicity

Plant details

Botanical name

Prunus lusitanica

Other names

Portugal laurel, Portuguese cherry laurel, Portuguese laurel

Genus

Prunus Prunus

Species

P. lusitanica - P. lusitanica is a dense, bushy, spreading, evergreen shrub or small tree with dark red shoots, ovate to elliptic, glossy, dark green leaves and, in early summer, racemes of small, cup-shaped, fragrant, white flowers followed by red fruit that ripen to black.


Prunus lusitanica is: Evergreen

Tree shape

Rounded to broadly spreading

Toxicity

Fruit may cause severe discomfort when ingested

Awards

RHS AGM (Award of Garden Merit)

Flower

White in Summer

Foliage

Dark-green in All seasons

How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Leaf mining moths , Vine weevil Leaf mining moths , Vine weevil

Powdery mildew , Silver leaf Powdery mildew , Silver leaf

General care

Pruning

Pruning group 1. Prune in midsummer in areas where silver leaf is present.

Propagation methods

Softwood cuttings


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Where to grow

Prunus lusitanica (Portugal laurel) will reach a height of 15m and a spread of 12m after 10-20 years.

Suggested uses

Cottage/Informal, Drought Tolerant, Hedging/Screens, Low Maintenance

Cultivation

Grow in moderately fertile, moist but well-drained soil in full sun or partial shade. Suitable for hedging. Easily tolerates poor, shallow, chalky soil.

Soil type

Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types)

Soil drainage

Moist but well-drained, Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Partial Shade, Full Sun

Aspect

North, South, East, West

Exposure

Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

Companion plants

Botanical name

Prunus lusitanica

Other names

Portugal laurel, Portuguese cherry laurel, Portuguese laurel

Genus

Prunus Prunus

Species

P. lusitanica - P. lusitanica is a dense, bushy, spreading, evergreen shrub or small tree with dark red shoots, ovate to elliptic, glossy, dark green leaves and, in early summer, racemes of small, cup-shaped, fragrant, white flowers followed by red fruit that ripen to black.

Foliage

Evergreen

Tree shape

Rounded to broadly spreading

Toxicity

Fruit may cause severe discomfort when ingested

Awards

RHS AGM (Award of Garden Merit)


Colour

Flower

White in Summer

Foliage

Dark-green in All seasons


How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Leaf mining moths , Vine weevil

Specific diseases

Powdery mildew , Silver leaf

General care

Pruning

Pruning group 1. Prune in midsummer in areas where silver leaf is present.

Propagation methods

Softwood cuttings


Monthly care advice


Where to grow

Prunus lusitanica (Portugal laurel) will reach a height of 15m and a spread of 12m after 10-20 years.

Suggested uses

Cottage/Informal, Drought Tolerant, Hedging/Screens, Low Maintenance

Cultivation

Grow in moderately fertile, moist but well-drained soil in full sun or partial shade. Suitable for hedging. Easily tolerates poor, shallow, chalky soil.

Soil type

Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types)

Soil drainage

Moist but well-drained, Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Partial Shade, Full Sun

Aspect

North, South, East, West

Exposure

Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

USDA zones

Zone 9, Zone 8, Zone 7

Defra's Risk register #1

Plant name

Prunus lusitanica (Portugal laurel)

Common pest name

Chlorotic leafroll of apricot; Chlorotic leafroll of nectarine; Chlorotic leafroll of peach; Decline of Japanese plum; Decline of peach; Dieback of apricot; European stone fruit yellows; European yellows of peach; Italian rosette of peach; Leptonecrosis of plum; MoliĀŠres disease of cherry; Vein clearing of peach; Vein enlargement of peach

Scientific pest name

Candidatus Phytoplasma prunorum

Type

Phytoplasma

Current status in UK

Absent

Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

2

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

5

General biosecurity comments

EU regulation appears satisfactory for UK; willing to participate in future review of EU listing.

Defra's Risk register #2

Plant name

Prunus lusitanica (Portugal laurel)

Common pest name

grape ground pearl

Scientific pest name

Margarodes vitis

Type

Insect

Current status in UK

Absent

Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

2

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

5

General biosecurity comments

Main pathway; Vitis spp. plants for planting; already prohibited. However; further consideration of other pathways is required.

Defra's Risk register #3

Plant name

Prunus lusitanica (Portugal laurel)

Common pest name

Peach red-necked longhorn; Plum and peach longhorn; red-necked longhorn

Scientific pest name

Aromia bungii

Type

Insect

Current status in UK

Absent

Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

4

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

4

General biosecurity comments

A pest mainly of Prunus previously intercepted in the UK on wooden packaging imported from China. There have been longstanding outbreaks of the pest in Italy; a source of significant trade in plants for instant landscapes; and also findings in Germany. The UK will press for early EU regulation and consider UK national measures if risk increases.

About this section

Our plants are under greater threat than ever before. There is increasing movement of plants and other material traded from an increasing variety of sources. This increases the chances of exotic pests arriving with imported goods and travellers, as well as by natural means. Shoot is working with Defra to help members to do their part in preventing the introduction and spread of invasive risks.

Traveling or importing plants? Please read "Don't risk it" advice here

Suspected outbreak? Click here for contact details to report to the relevant authority.

Date updated: 7th March 2019 For more information visit: https://planthealthportal.defra.gov.uk/

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Prunus lusitanica

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This plant likes... Garden match
Soil types: Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types) Tell us...
Soil drainage: Moist but well-drained, Well-drained Tell us...
Soil pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral Tell us...
Light: Partial Shade, Full Sun Tell us...
Aspect: North, South, East, West Tell us...
Exposure: Exposed, Sheltered Tell us...
Hardiness: Hardy (H4) Tell us...

DISCUSS THIS PLANT

Pruning Prunus lusitanica

Hi there, please can you give me advice on pruning this plant - I want it for the back of a border and whilst it has plenty of space at the moment, I would like to know if I can prune it at a later… read more

Prunus lusitanica

This is often used as a hedging plant and is more tolerant of chalk than other Prunus species. It is often dense enough to be used as a nesting site by birds like the song thrush and its flowers… read more

There are 11 active discussions about Prunus lusitanica (Portugal laurel)

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