Prunus lusitanica Portuguese Laurel Cherry or Portuguese-laurel is a species of cherry, native to southwestern France, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, and Macaronesia. It is an evergreen shrub or small tree growing to 3-15 m tall.
The bark is blackish-brown, The leaves are alternate, oval, 7–12 cm long and 3–5 cm broad, with an acute apex and a dentate margin, glossy dark green above, lighter below. They superficially resemble those of the Bay Laurel, which accounts for its often being mistaken for one.
The flowers are small (10-15 mm diameter) with five small white petals; they are produced on erect or spreading spikes 15–25 cm long in late spring. The fruit is a small cherry-like drupe 8–13 mm in diameter, green or reddish green at first, turning dark purple or black when ripe in late summer or early autumn.
The Prunus lusitanica with common name Portuguese Laurel Cherry or Portuguese-laurel is rare in the wild, occurring mainly along mountain streams, preferring sunshine and moist but well-drained soils. It is moderately drought-tolerant.
Three subspecies are accepted:
Prunus lusitanica subsp. lusitanica. - native to Mainland Europe.
Prunus lusitanica subsp. azorica - native to Franco. Azores.
Prunus lusitanica subsp. hixa - native to Franco. Canary Islands, Madeira, Morocco.
The species was first scientifically described by Linnaeus in Species Plantarum in 1753. Its specific epithet lusitanica means of Lusitania, the Roman name for Portugal.
It is widely grown as an ornamental shrub and is used as a hedge plant. The fruit is very bitter and inedible (doubtfully edible if fully ripe), and may be toxic.
It is introduced and locally naturalised in the temperate zone in northern France, Great Britain, Ireland, New Zealand, and the western United States in California, Oregon and Washington.
Ball on 100 cm stam
Diameter-Ball: from 30 - 40 cm