Cherry Laurel

Prunus laurocerasus

Cherry Laurel

Family: Rosaceae


Weed class: monitor list
Native to: Asia and Europe
Is this Weed Toxic?:

humans, livestock

Why Is It a Noxious Weed?

This plant is on the monitor list. Please contact its sponsor Seattle Urban Nature Project to report locations or for more information.

How would I identify it?

General Description

Large, spreading, evergreen shrub, growing to around 20 feet tall and wide spreading.

Flower Description

Flowers in erect racemes, 2-5 inches long. Flowers white, with 5 petals and about 1 cm wide.

Leaf description

Leaves are alternately arranged, leathery with serrate margins and two glands at the base of the blade near point of attachment with petiole. 2-6 inches long, obovate in shape, and dark to medium green.

Stem description

Stems have smooth reddish brown to dark brown bark. New stems are green.

Fruit Seed Description

Fruit is a black to purple-black drupe, 0.5" long.

Where does it grow?

Cherry laurel is used in landscape plantings. It has been documented escaping from gardens in western Washington by herbarium specimens in a number of counties.

How Does it Reproduce?

Plants spread by seed and can resprout from cut stems. Birds eat the fruit and can spread seeds into remote areas.

For More Information

King County Noxious Weed Control Board information on Prunus laurocerasus

WTU image database information on Prunus laurocerasus

Additional Photos