Type: Hedge or Screen, Tree, Perennial


Carolina Laurel Cherry is grown as an evergreen shrub or tree standard, favored for its shiny green foliage. However, the flower and fruit litter is a problem in paved areas, and it may reseed unwantedly. It withstands heat, dryness and wind, and is quite durable once established. Variety Compacta generally grows 8-10 tall. It may require regularly scheduled light top-trimming (but not necessarily shearing) of vigorous top shoots to maintain its height below 25.

Native range: Southeastern United States

Horticultural use: Screen or Hedged or Topiary


Tree shape: Conical or Rounded

Foliage type: Evergreen

Maximum tree height: 30 feet

Canopy width: 15-25 feet

Growth rate: ~36 in/year

Leaf arrangement and form: Alternate, Simple

Leaf/leaflet shape: Spear-shaped

Leaf color: Green

Flowers: Showy, Fragrant

Flower color: White.

Flower type: Has male and female reproductive parts in each flower (perfect)

Flowering time: Winter or Spring

Fruit: Black Drupe

Fruiting time: Winter, Spring or Summer

Bark: Dark Gray or Light Gray, Smooth

Litter: Wet Fruit, Flowers


Planting area: 5′ to 10′

Water use: Medium

Sunset zones: 5 – 24

USDA zones: 7, 8, 9, 10

Sun exposure: Partial Shade to Full Sun

Soil texture: Loam or Sand or Clay

Soil pH: Very Acidic to Slightly Alkaline

Soil salinity tolerance: Coastal Moderate

Salt spray tolerance: Moderate


Branch strength: Medium

Root damage potential: Low

Potential health issues: Allergy, Poisonous

Biogenic emissions: Low

Wildlife interactions: Tree is deer resistant and attracts bees, birds

Disease and pest susceptibility: Armillaria, Fire Blight, Root Rot, Rust and Scales

Powerline friendly: No