(Prunus caroliniana)
The Rose Family (Rosaceae)

Dense shrub or small tree with simple, evergreen leaves arranged alternately along green, red or grayish brown slender twigs. Bark smooth and gray; with age becoming blocky and almost black.


Well drained soils along natural levees and slopes.

Interesting Facts: 

Crushed leaves emit almond extract-like odor. Seeds, twigs and leaves of all Prunus species contain hydrocyanic acid (a poison that gives almonds their characteristic flavor). Leaves of Prunus caroliniana are particularly high in this toxin.

Fleshy, with a thin pulp, dark red to black, .5“ long by .375” wide, egg-shaped with a small tip, and persistent through winter.
Fragrant, white to cream, about .19” wide, in showy elongate clusters among the leaves, opening from February to April.
Wildlife value: 
Berries attract birds. Flowers attract bees, butterflies and other insects. Evergreen foliage provides cover.
Leaf type: 
Wildlife value: 
Tree dimensions: 

Leaf length: 2.00-5.00 inches
Tree height: 30.00-40.00 feet

Where to find Cherry Laurel on the Louisiana State Arboretum Trails:

WET - Wetland Trail 2.0

Refer to our Live Map to locate this species and its interpretative signage on the trail system.