Prunus caroliniana

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Cherry-laurel, Laurel Cherry


Plant Specifics

Size:20-45 ft tall by 15-30 ft wide
Life Span:Long-lived perennial
Flower Color:White
Fruit Color:Black
Phenology:Evergreen. Blooms early spring. Fruits ripen late summer-fall.
Noted for:Showy flowers, Interesting foliage


Recommended Uses:Can be used as a specimen plant, hedge (can be trimmed), shelter plant, or wildlife thicket. Appreciated for its shiny dark foliage.

This plant can be too prolific as the many seedlings that come up both around the plant and under bird perching sites can become problematic. Also spreads by underground stems.

Weak, prone to wind damage.

Propagation:Seed, rhizomes.
Light: Full Sun,  Part Shade
Moisture Tolerance:
always floodedextremely dry
 (Usually moist, occasional inundation ----- to ----- Somewhat long very dry periods)
Moisture Tolerance: Usually moist, occasional inundation ----- to ----- Somewhat long very dry periods
Salt Water Flooding Tolerance:Not salt tolerant of inundation by salty or brackish water.
Salt Spray/ Salty Soil Tolerance:Some tolerance to salty wind but not direct salt spray.
Soil or other substrate:Loam, Sand
Soil pH:Broadly tolerant



Seed is spread by birds.


Attracts bees.

Native Habitats:Dry-moist sites. Upland hardwood forests, upland mixed forest, secondary woods, riverine swamps, disturbed areas.

Distribution and Planting Zones

Natural Range in Florida
USDA Zones

Suitable to grow in:
8A 8B 9A 9B 

USDA zones are based on minimum winter temperatures


General Comments:

The range extends from Texas to North Carolina mostly in the coastal plan and adjacent areas of sandy hills.  In Florida, the range is continuous down to central Florida and then peters out, a pattern that largely corresponds to climate (temperature patterns). 

This species should grow well from the central peninsula northward.