Saturday, January 23, 2016

Laurel Cherries

Laurel Cherries

Prunus caroliniana ( Carolina Laurel-Cherry )
A very fast growing, upright, small, evergreen tree reaching up to 30 feet or sometimes more that is native to the southern U.S. from eastern Texas to North Carolina and south.
Native to coastal parts of North Carolina, it has now naturalized as far inland as Raleigh. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 12 feet; 20 years - 40 x 27 feet; largest on record - 60 x 50 feet with a trunk diameter of 3.5 feet. It is often used for screening.
The smooth to serrate-edged, elliptical leaves, up to 5 x 2 inches, are glossy, bright to later deep green.
The tiny, fragrant, creamy white flowers are massed densely in racemes, up to 3 inches long, that appear during early spring.
They are followed by dry, shiny, black, oblong fruits up to 0.5 inches in length. The fruits are not edible.
The gray bark is smooth on young trees but later becoming roughened.
The Carolina Laurel-Cherry is closely related to Prunus laurocerasus and is similarly used as a hedge, often far north of its native range. Planted 8 feet apart, it may form a solid wall of privacy in 1 year. It also makes for a handsome street tree.
Hardy north to zone 6b ( possibly even zone 6a ) if protected from winter winds, on more average sites it is hardy from zones 7 to 11 in sun to partial shade on moist, fertile, acidic, well drained soil. It grows in Dayton, Ohio with only minor winter leaf burn. The Carolina Laurel-Cherry is very prone to chlorosis on alkaline soil, is not tolerant of salt or poor drainage and can be killed by drought. It is tolerant of clay ( if well drained ) and urban conditions. Carolina Laurel-Cherry is rarely bothered by insect pests or disease. Propagation is from hardwood cuttings during winter or seed sown during autumn.

* photos taken on Aug 24 2017 @ U.S. Botanic Garden, Wash. DC.

* photo of unknown internet source

* photo taken by W.D. Brush @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database


'Bright n Tight'
Very fast growing ( up to 3 feet per year ), dense and upright, making a great screen.

* photos taken on Oct 21 2014 @ Smithsonian Inst., Washington, DC


Prunus ilicifolia ( Hollyleaf Cherry )
A moderate growing, dense, medium sized, evergreen tree native from Californias central coast south to Baja, that can reach up to 40 feet or sometimes more. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 4 feet; largest on record - 60 x 50 feet with a trunk diameter of 3.6 feet. It is long lived, reaching up to 100 years or more in age.
It is often a shrub in the wild where it is often found growing in far less than ideal conditions.
The evergreen foliage is leathery and "Holly-like" with spiny edges and up to 5 x 1.5 inches in size. The leaves are glossy, deep green all year.
The 0.5 inch creamy white flowers are massed in racemes up to 2 inches in length during early spring.
They are followed by thin fleshed, red to black fruits up to 0.7 inches wide that ripen late in autumn, often persisting over the winter.
The bark is reddish-brown and fissured.
Hardy zones 7 to 11 tolerating as low as 0 F and is drought tolerant, surviving without irrigation where annual rainfall is as low as 26 inches. The Hollyleaf Cherry can be expected to also grow well in the southern U.S.

* photo taken by Jean Pawek @ CalPhotos

* historic archive photo

* photo taken by Albert Everett Wieslander and the Marian Koshland Bioscience and Natural Resources Library


Prunus laurocerasus ( Cherry Laurel )
An evergreen large shrub or tree native to southern Europe and western Asia; Cherry Laurel is a very popular hedge plant in both its native range and in North America. It has naturalized in the British Isles and much of western Europe. Left to grow on its own; the Cherry laurel typically grows at a moderate pace and forms a small tree to 25 feet or more. On ideal sites it can grow fast and also much larger, records include: growth rate - 4 feet! 20 years - 40 x 40 feet; largest ever recorded - 60 x 101 feet with a trunk diameter of 6 feet. In the U.S. this tree grows equally well in both the hot humid east and the cool summers of the Pacific Northwest.
The smooth, leathery foliage is glossy, very dark green above, light green below. The leaves are up to 10 x 3 ( rarely over 8 x 2.3 ) inches in size. The foliage is not liked by the Japanese Beetle due to its high cyanide content.
The leaves, shoots and seeds are also poisonous to humans.
The creamy-white flowers are borne on racemes up to 7 inches long, during mid-spring.
They are followed by purple-black berries, up to 0.4 inches in size, during summer.
The bark is dark grayish-brown.
Hardy zones 6 to 9 in sun to partial shade but is also tolerant of deep shade. It grows well in most well drained soils except for shallow alkaline soil and can be prone to mildew and leaf spot in some locations ( generally NOT a problem in the Mid Atlantic U.S. ). Drought and wind tolerant especially if grown on deep, rich, acidic loamy soil. They do not enjoy road salt. Most species can be used as a hedge but it is recommended to use pruners rather than shear as cutting the foliage can result in ugly brown tips. If it grows too large; the Cherry Laurel can be cut back hard in late spring just before the new growth begins. Deer do NOT eat the foliage.
Propagated from seed, semi-ripe cuttings in summer and layering.

* photo of unknown source on internet


* photos taken on May 16 2010 @ Cylburn Arboretum, Baltimore, MD


* photos taken on June 6 2010 in Columbia, MD




'Caucasica'
Resembling Skip Laurel in habit, it forms a fast growing, upright large shrub to small tree, reaching up to 17 x 13 feet in just 10 years, eventually more.
The large, ovate to oblong leaves are up to 7 x 3 inches in size. The foliage is glossy bright green, later turning to very deep green.
The abundant, white flowers are borne on erect racemes.
Hardy zones 6 to 8 in partial shade.

Chestnut Hill'
Compact and rounded in habit, reaching up to 4 x 4 feet.
The narrow foliage is glossy deep green.
Hardy zones 6 to 8.

'Enno Luyken'
Similar to 'Otto Luyken' however this one is very columnar in habit, rather than spreading.
The narrow-elliptical leaves are glossy deep green.
Hardy zones 6 to 8.

'Etna'
A slow growing, upright, rounded shrub, reaching up to 11.5 x 8 ( rarely over 6.5 x 5 ) feet in size though there are reports of as much as 30 feet.
The broadly-oval to obovate leaves are rich orange-bronze at first, transitioning to glossy bright green then to deep green.
The white flowers are borne on abundant short spikes.
Hardy zones 5b to 8, it is exceptionally resistant to winter sun scald.

* photo taken on Apr 28 2015 in Mt Airy, MD

* photo taken on Oct 9 2017 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Dec 1 2017 in Columbia, MD


'Forest Green'
Dense and broad-spreading, reaching up to 6.7 x 7 feet in 8 years; eventually slightly more.
The foliage is glossy blackish-green.
Exceptionally hardy with no winter foliage burn even after -15 F.

* photos taken on Mar 26 2012 in Columbia, MD



* photo taken on Dec 15 2012 in Columbia, MD
* photos taken on Feb 8 2015 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* photos taken on June 14 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on July 25 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Sep 6 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Sep 13 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Dec 20 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on May 16 2017 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on July 7 2017 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Aug 21 2017 in Columbia, MD


'Gajo'
A mutation of 'Otto Luyken', it forms a very compact, mounded to rounded shrub, reaching only up to 32 x 40 inches in size.
The small, lance-shaped leaves, up to 2 inches in length, are very glossy, very deep green.
The white flowers are borne on abundant upright panicles.
They are followed by purplish-black berries.
Hardy zones 5 to 8.

'Greenmantle'
Spreading, lower growing form; reaching up to 5 x 10 feet in 10 years.

'Herbergii'
A moderate growing, dense, broad-pyramidal shrub, reaching up to 13 x 10 feet. Some records include: 10 years - 8 x 6.5 feet.
The narrrow-elliptical leaves, up to 5.5 x 1.5 inches in size, are glossy bright green later turning to deep green.
The white flowers are borne on very showy, upright panicles up to 8 inches long.
Hardy zones 5b to 8.

'Kleopatra'
A vigorous, but compact, arching to spreading shrub, reaching up to 5 x 6.5 feet, originating in Hungary.
The large, oblong to elliptical leaves are coppery-orange at first, later turning to rich deep green.
Hardy zones 6 to 8.

'Magnifolia'
The "Cherry Laurel on Steroids"; not often seen in the U.S. and it does need alot of space to grow. If you have the room this shrub is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. It is spectacular! It grows very fast ( record growth rate - 5 feet ) and has very large tropical looking foliage up to 12 x 5 inches in size. The foliage is very glossy blackish-green.
Known to reach as large as 47 x 50 feet as a tree.
Hardy zones 6a to 8.

'Majestic Jade'
Rapid growing and upright, reaching up to 6.7 x 6.7 feet in 8 years; 8 feet in 10 years, eventually to 12 x 11 feet. It originated as a seedling of 'Otto Luyken' that was selected by world famous horticulturalist 'Michael Dirr'. The foliage is very glossy, deep green.
Hardy zones 6 to 8, it has superior shot hole resistance..

* photos taken on Sep 20 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on July 9 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Oct 5 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Oct 17 2015 in Howard Co., MD

* photos taken on Aug 19 2016 in Howard Co., MD

* photo taken on Aug 20 2016 in Howard Co., MD

* photo taken on Oct 16 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Nov 4 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Nov 12 2016 in Howard Co., MD

* photos taken on Dec 3 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on May 19 2017 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on June 6 2017 in Howard Co., MD

* photos taken on Dec 6 2017 in Howard Co., MD


'Marbled White'
Also called 'Castewellan'. Fast growing, dense, vase-shaped and upright, reaching up to 20 x 17 ( rarely over 12 ) feet.
The very attractive foliage is very heavily splashed creamy-white.
Hardy zones 6a to 8.

'Mano'
A slow growing, compact, rounded shrub, reaching a maximum size of 6.5 x 6.5 feet. Some records include: 10 years - 32 inches.
The broad-elliptical leaves, up to 2.4 x 1.3 inches in size, are bronzy-green at first, turning to glossy deep green.
The white flowers are followed by purplish-black berries.
Hardy zones 5b to 8.

'Mt. Vernon'
A very low, wide-spreading form, reaching up to 2 x 8 feet in size. It is great for mass groundcover plants.
The foliage resembles that of the species but is smaller ( up to 5 x 2.8 inches in size ). The oblong to obovate leaves are glossy bright green, later turning to mid to deep green.
It rarely self seeds unlike the species and many other cultivars.
Hardy zones 6b to 8.

* photos taken @ Smithsonian Inst, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014


'Novita'
A fast growing, upright, rounded shrub, reaching up to 10 x 10 feet in 10 years, eventually 13 x 13 feet. It makes an excellent screen.
The broad-obovate leaves, up to 6 inches in length, are very glossy bright green, later turning to deep green.
The large berries are black.
Hardy zones 5b to 8.

'Otto Luyken' ( Otto Luyken Laurelcherry )
A dwarf and dense, bushy form; though even still it can eventually become a medium-size shrub and unless meticulously pruned, often outgrows the often inappropriate places it is planted. With a medium growth rate; it can reach up to 8 x 12 feet with great age however it can be kept much lower with pruning and is often kept maintained as a hedge around 4 or 5 feet. Some records include: 10 years - 6 feet.
The deep glossy green foliage is narrower and smaller ( up to 4 x 1 inches in size ) than the species.
Flowering is heavy and it is recommend to dead head blooms for the first 2 years after planting to speed up establishment and early growth.
Hardy zones 6 to 8

* photos taken in Howard County, MD on July 2009




* photo taken on April 6 2010 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on April 17 2010 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Dec 2011 in Ellicott City, MD

* photo taken on July 10 2013 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on May 7 2014 @ London Town Gardens, Edgewater, MD

* photo taken on May 5 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on June 20 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Oct 16 2016 in Columbia, MD


'Parkway'
Very attractive, dense, and rapid growing to 15 x 15 feet. Pyramidal in habit when young, later becoming rounded.
The huge, glossy black-green leaves, up to 8 inches in length, resemble that of the Southern Magnolia and it keeps that color during the winter with no blemishes. It is a great screening plant and is hardy from zones 6a to 9

'Piranha'
A vigorous, spreading shrub, reaching up to 5 x 8 feet, that is an offspring of 'Otto Luyken'.
The broad-elliptical leaves, up to 3.5 inches in length, have a sharply-toothed margin unlike the species.
The glossy foliage is bright green at first, later turning to deep green.
The showy white flowers are borne on abundant panicles.
Hardy zones 6a to 8, very disease resistant. It is very resistant to shot hole disease.

'Renault Lace'
Fast growing, compact and broad-upright, reaching up to 8 x 6.5 feet in 10 years, eventually to 10 x 8 feet. It makes a great hedge.
The narrow, elliptical leaves, up to 5 inches in length, are very glossy bright green, turning to mid-green. The leaves are twice the size of 'Otto Luyken'.
The white flowers are borne on upright racemes.
Hardy zones 6a to 8 ( tolerating -11 F or possibly colder ).

'Skipkaensis' ( Skip Laurel )
An excellent evergreen screening plant; it grows fast reaching up to 10 x 6 feet in 5 years and after many years to 22 x 15 feet though it can be sheared and pruned to stay as low as 7 to 8 feet. I have seen this plant grow up to 3 feet per year and it should not be used in confined spaces where smaller growing varieties are better suited.
The foliage is bright green at first, later turning to deep green. The leaves are narrower than the species; up to 7 x 1.8 inches in size.
Originating from the Balkan region of Europe; this is the hardiest cultivar and may even grow in protected locations such as courtyards as far north as zone 5.

* photo taken on July 2009 in Columbia, MD








* photo taken in Columbia, MD on April 23 2010

* photo taken on Mar 26 2012 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on April 15 2012 in Bethesda, MD




* photo taken on May 17 2012 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on May 5 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Jul 20 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Jan 1 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on June 20 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Aug 21 2017 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Aug 30 2017 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Dec 1 2017 in Columbia, MD


'Zabeliana' ( Zabel Laurel Cherry )
A hardy low growing, spreading, open habit cultivar suited for groundcover purposes; a single plant can reach up to 3 x 8 feet in 4 years, 4 x 10 feet in 10 years. 5.3 feet in 20 years, and eventually 7 x 26 feet!
The glossy deep green foliage is narrow and this cultivar blooms heavily. The leaves are up to 5 x 1.2 inches in size.
Hardy zones 6 to 8.

* photos taken on Mar 22 2012 in Columbia, MD


* photo taken on May 3 2012 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on May 7 2014 @ London Town Gardens, Edgewater, MD

* photos taken on Aug 11 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on June 18 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Nov 19 2016 @ London Town Gardens, Edgewater, MD

* photo taken on Oct 1 2017 in Laurel, MD


Prunus lusitanica ( Portugal Laurel )
A native of the Iberian peninsula of Europe where it is nearly extinct in the wild; interestingly it is an invasive weed in New Zealand. It was originally found in much of Portugal, Spain and southwestern France, it has become naturalized locally in western France and milder parts of the British Isles where it is often used for hedging. Growing very lush and dense; the Portugal Laurel is typically a moderate growing, evergreen tree reaching up to 30 feet if not sheared. After many years on ideal sites, it can grow quite large. Some records include: fastest growth rate - 6 feet; 20 years - 60 x 20 feet; largest ever recorded - 70 x 70 feet with a trunk diameter of 4 feet.
The toothed, oblanceolate to ovate leaves are up to 7 x 3 inches in size. The foliage is glossy, very deep green above, yellowish-green beneath. They are borne on reddish stalks ( stalk of related P. laurocerasus are yellow-green ).
The very fragrant, creamy white flowers, up to 0.5 inches wide, are borne in panicles up to 10 inches long, during early summer ( the bloom season occurs a bit later than the closely related Prunus laurocerasus ).
They are followed by small, 0.5 inch wide, deep purple cherries.
The blackish bark is smooth, becoming scaly on very old trees.
Hardy zones 6 to 9 ( tolerating as low as -10 F ) on any well drained soil in sun or shade. The Portual Laurel makes an excellent windbreak or tall hedge and is wind, salt spray and drought resistant.
Informal hedges can be cut back in spring ( look best if cut back with pruners and not sheared ). The Portugal Laurel also looks great trained as a tree making an excellent focal point for small yards. This type of pruning is simple; train to a single leader when young and shorten and thin side branches, gradually removing lower limbs are the tree grows in size. Pruning is best done in March.

* photos taken on March 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum


* photo taken on May 8 2010 of sheared plants in Bethesda, MD

* photos taken on Nov 18 2012 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Apr 26 2013 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on May 7 2014 @ London Town Gardens, Edgewater, MD

* photos taken on Feb 13 2016 in Columbia, MD

* historical archive photo


'Azorica'
Native to forests of the Azores Islands. The broader foliage is red when young turning to glossy bright green. Also has few flowers in racemes that are upright instead of spreading. Hardy from zones 7 to 9

'Variegata'
One of the most beautiful or all variegated plants. The glossy dark green foliage is edged white, often turning pinkish in winter. Vigorous growing, it can become a tree up to 33 feet in height if not sheared.

* photos taken on May 1 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.


* photos taken on 4th of July 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.


Prunus lyonii ( Catalina Cherry )
A small, stocky, rapid growing, dense canopied, evergreen tree related to Prunus ilicifolia, that is only native to the Catalina Islands off the coast of southern California though is an excellent ornamental tree or hedge far beyond its native range. Typically reaching 30 feet, some records include: largest on record - 75 x 55 feet with a trunk diameter of 3.2 feet.
The ovate, wavy margiined, deep green, evergreen leaves are up to 5 inches in length and only occasionally toothed unlike the similar Prunus ilicifolia.
The 0.3 inch, white flowers are borne in racemes up to 6 inches in length in mid to late spring. They are followed by purple cherries up to 1.2 inches wide that are thick fleshed and delicious.
The bark is reddish-brown.
Hardy zones 8 to 10 in sun or partial shade and commonly cultivated in California. It is very drought tolerant.

* historical archive photo


Prunus myrtifolia ( Myrtle Cherry )
A tropical, rapid growing, evergreen Cherry that is native to southern Florida, the Caribbean and Brazil. Typically a small tree, the largest on record is 53 x 50 feet with a trunk diameter of 2 feet.
The elliptical, smooth margined foliage is deep, glossy green and up to 5 x 1.5 inches in size.
The tiny, 0.1 inch flowers are borne in short racemes in late autumn.
The round, dry, orange fruits are up to 0.5 inches in width.
The bark is smooth and light brown.
Hardy zones 10 and warmer. Endangered in the U.S. it is not generally bothered by pests and is easy to grow in sun or shade in southern Florida.

Prunus zippeliana ( Laurocerasus )
A close relative of Prunus laurocerasus, forming a large, evergreen tree, to 50 ( rarely 100 ) feet, that is native from southwest to central & eastern China, Japan & northern Vietnam. Some records include: largest on record - 117 feet with a trunk diameter of 5.5 feet. Moderately long-lived, it is known to persist for as long as 320 years.
The elliptical leaves are up to 8 x 3 inches in size. The foliage is glossy deep green above, bright green beneath.
The white flowers are borne in narrow clusters in Autumn.
The attractive, exfoliating bark is reddish in color.
Hardy zones 7 to 9.

* excellent photo link
http://hana.dracaenaflower.com/bakuti6.jpg

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