cherrylaurel Rosaceae Prunus
laurocerasus L. symbol: PRLA5
Leaf: Alternate, simple, evergreen, ovate, obovate, or nearly lanceolate, 2 to 6 inches long, entire margin or somewhat serrate, dark shiny green above, much paler below.
Flower: Very fragrant, up to 5 inch long clusters of small, white, 5-petal flowers, generally held upright, late spring.
Fruit: Clustered drupes, up to 1/2 inch in diameter, shiny black when ripe in mid summer.
Twig: Shiny yellow-green, slender, somewhat angled, pronounced bitter almond odor and taste, pre-formed catkins present in leaf nodes.
Bark: Red-brown to gray-brown.
Form: A large, dense, multi-stem shrub or small tree to 20 feet, generally wider than tall.
Looks like: Carolina laurelcherry
Additional Range Information: Prunus laurocerasus is planted in the USDA hardiness zones shown above and may seed into the landscape. See states reporting cherrylaurel.
External Links: USDA Plants Database
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson