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Best grown in moist, organically rich, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Tolerates shade. Good soil drainage is essential. Plants generally prefer sun in the cooler areas of the growing range (USDA Zone 6) and shadier conditions in the hotter areas of the growing range (USDA Zone 8). Prune as needed after flowering. Unpruned species plants can grow quite large.
Cherry laurel or English laurel is a broad, dense, spreading, evergreen shrub that in cultivation typically matures over time to 10-18′ tall with a spread to 20-25′. It is native to southeastern Europe and southwestern Asia where plants in the wild may become quite tree-like, eventually reaching 30′ in height. Lustrous, oblong, dark green leaves (to 6″ long). Foliage is evergreen with no fall color. Tiny, cup-shaped, creamy white flowers in upright clusters (racemes to 5″ long) bloom from the leaf axils in April-May. Flowers have a powerful aroma. Flowers give way to somewhat inconspicuous black drupes that ripen in mid-summer. This fruit is basically inedible for humans (bitter aftertaste) but is loved by local bird populations. Specific epithet means laurel cherry in reference to its laurel-like evergreen leaves and cherry-like fruit. Zones 6 to 8.