- English laurel (Prunus laurocerasus) also known as cherry laurel
- Portuguese laurel (Prunus lusitanica) also known as Portuguese cherry laurel
English and Portuguese laurels are considered naturalized in Oregon, Washington, California, and British Columbia. These species are large evergreen shrubs or small trees and are used for landscaping, usually as a hedgerow. They are often planted as ornamentals because of their resemblance to cherry trees but can escape and infest natural areas.
|Early Detection and Rapid Response species:||No|
|Height:||• English laurel: 10 – 30 feet (5 – 10 meters)|
• Portuguese laurel: 20 feet (6 meters)
|Leaf Description:||Dark to medium green leaves are alternately arranged. English laurel has shiny or waxy leaves whereas Portuguese laurel does not.|
|Fruit & Flower Description:||Fragrant flowers are small and white, arranged in a cone-shaped cluster, and produce dark purple berries near the end of summer or early fall.|
|Bloom Time:||March to April|
- Often grown as ornamental shrubs and trees in gardens but can escape into forest understories.
- Hardy and can withstand tough growing conditions, including dry soils and heavy shade.
- Ornamental laurels can grow very large, crowding out native understory trees, shrubs, and groundcovers.
- Both species’ berries, leaves, and stems are toxic to eat.
- Hand pulling small laurels is effective in damp soils, it is important to remove as much of the root as possible.
- When removing larger laurel trees, cut the trunk and stems as close to the ground as possible. Make sure to monitor the area for regrowth.
Noxious Weed Listing:
|State of Oregon:||Not listed|
|State of Washington:||Monitor|
Download the English and Portuguese Laurel Best Management Practices Factsheet