Prunus lusitanica L.

Portugal Laurel

Sp. Pl. 1: 473 (1753) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Naturalised

Spreading, glabrous evergreen shrub or tree 3–8(–20) m high; young twigs and petioles dark red. Leaves elliptic-ovate to oblong-lanceolate, 6–13 cm long, 2.5–7 cm wide, base obtuse to rounded, apex acuminate, margins crenate-dentate, when present, glands restricted to leaf margins; petiole 10–15 mm long. Flowers numerous, in suberect axillary racemes usually 10–28 cm long; pedicels 7–20 mm long. Sepals obtuse; petals suborbicular to obovate, white. Drupe ovoid, 8–12 mm long, glabrous, purplish-black, inedible. Flowers Oct.–Dec.

*CVU, *GipP, *HSF. Also naturalised SA, NSW. Native to western Europe. Occasionally naturalised in damp forest e.g. Gembrook, Mount Macedon, Red Hill.

Prunus lusitanica closely resembles P. laurocerasus. Apart from those differences outlined in the key, P. lusitanica may be distinguished from P. laurocerasus in having reddish (rather than green) petioles and young twigs, and darker leaves that lack small circular glands on the undersurface near the base.

Created by: Andre Messina, 2016-01-14
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2018-03-15
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Rosanae
order Rosales
family Rosaceae
genus Prunus
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Prunus lusitanica in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Prunus lusitanica in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Gippsland Plain present naturalised
Central Victorian Uplands present introduced
Highlands-Southern Fall present naturalised

State distribution

Distribution map
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory