Prunus lusitanica is a dense bushy evergreen shrub with glossy dark green leaves and fragrant white flowers on pendent racemes in early summer. Followed by red fruit ripening to black.It is a superb topiary subject, or hedging plant, and has been regularly planted in parks as a specimen tree. Flowers June to July. Fruits July. Max Height slowly to 20m. Max Spread 20m. Full sun. Frost hardy.
Seed kernels harmful if eaten.
Prunus lusitanica, commonly known as the Portuguese laurel or cherry laurel, is a species of shrub in the Rosaceae family. Native to southwestern Europe and northwestern Africa, this evergreen shrub is highly valued for its ornamental and medicinal properties. The various characteristics and uses of Prunus lusitanica are many and include:-
Prunus lusitanica is a slow-growing, compact, and densely branched shrub that can grow up to 6 meters in height. It has glossy, dark green leaves that are oval-shaped and grow up to 15 cm long. The leaves are highly fragrant and have a spicy scent when crushed. The shrub produces small white flowers in the summer, followed by small, dark red berries in Autumn.
Prunus lusitanica is a hardy shrub that thrives in well-drained, fertile soil in full sun or partial shade. It is drought tolerant but benefits from regular watering during dry spells. It is Hardy and can be grown in in all areas of the UK with proper care. It can be propagated through seeds or cuttings.
Prunus lusitanica is widely used as an ornamental shrub in gardens and landscapes. Its dense foliage and fragrant flowers make it an excellent choice for hedges, screens, and borders. It can also be grown as a specimen plant or in containers. It is a popular choice for formal gardens and is often used to create topiaries, or shaped hedging projects.
Prunus lusitanica has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. The leaves contain compounds that have antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. They have been used to treat various ailments, including digestive disorders, respiratory infections, and skin conditions. The leaves can be brewed into a tea or used in a tincture.
The small red berries of Prunus lusitanica are edible but are not commonly consumed due to their bitter taste. They can be used to make jams and jellies, but require large amounts of sugar to offset their bitterness. The leaves are also used as a flavoring in some cuisines.
While Prunus lusitanica has many beneficial properties, it also has some potential hazards. The leaves, bark, and seeds contain cyanogenic glycosides, which can release hydrogen cyanide when ingested. The berries are also toxic if eaten in large quantities. Care should be taken when handling the shrub, and it should be kept away from children and pets.
In conclusion, Prunus lusitanica is a versatile and attractive shrub that has many uses. Its fragrant leaves and flowers make it a popular choice for gardens and landscapes, and its medicinal properties have been valued for centuries. However, it should be handled with care due to its toxic properties. Overall, Prunus lusitanica is an excellent choice for gardeners looking for a hardy but versatile shrub having many uses in all manner of situations.