Prunus laurocerasus 'Schipkaensis'

Schip Laurel, Cherrylaurel




  • native to Asia minor
  • hardy to zone 6

Habit and Form

  • an evergreen small tree or large shrub
  • 10' to 18' tall
  • 25' to 30' wide
  • dense, rounded form
  • medium texture
  • moderate growth rate

Summer Foliage

  • alternate leaf arrangement
  • simple, evergreen leaves
  • 2" to 6" long
  • leaf width in half the length
  • obovate leaf shape
  • minutely serrated leaf margins
  • dark green leaf color
  • 1 to 2 pairs of glands on leaf base

Autumn Foliage

  • no fall color


  • white flowers
  • blooms in late April
  • flowers borne in racemes, 2" to 5" long
  • fragrant


  • black drupe
  • 0.5" long
  • matures in mid-summer


  • reddish brown
  • smooth


  • transplant from B&B or container
  • prefers moist, well-drained soil with organic matter
  • full sun to part shade
  • prune tolerant

Landscape Use

  • hedge
  • specimen
  • massing or grouping
  • for shade planting


  • relatively pest free for Prunus sp.

ID Features

  • small, evergreen tree
  • alternate leaf arrangement
  • serrate leaf margins
  • buds are sessile and globose, 6 exposed scales
  • 1 to 2 pairs of glands on leaf base
  • white flowers, fragrant
  • black fruit


  • by cuttings
  • by seed


'Magnoliifolia' (also listed as 'Latifolia', 'Macrophylla' and 'Magnifolia') - A very large-growing form to 25' tall, this selection bears large foliage (to 12" long) that resembles Magnolia grandiflora and is lustrous dark green. The plant may be trained into a tree.

'Marbled Dragon' (probably the same as 'Marbled White' and 'Castlewellan') - This is a variegated form bearing irregular blotches and mottlings of white on the leaves. It is a smaller-growing plant. 'Variegata' probably represents several other variegated selections with white-blotched and mottled leaves.

'Otto Luyken' - Very popular in commerce, this plant is exceptional for its dense, compact form to 4' tall and twice as wide. It flowers abundantly, displays glossy deep green leaves and is frequently employed in mass plantings. 'Mt. Vernon' is a very unusual dwarf form that grows slowly and densely to 3' tall with larger leaves than 'Otto Luyken'.

'Schipkaensis' - The most popular landscape cultivar, this plant is somewhat confused in commerce and may include several different clones. Generally it is a spreading shrub growing 5' to 10' tall with narrow, dark green leaves. It is a hardy form, persisting in USDA zone 5b/6a. 'Zabeliana' is similar, but lower growing (to 5' tall with a spread of 20') with more narrow foliage and a free-flowering habit.

© Copyright Mark H. Brand, 1997-2015.

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Citation and Acknowledgements: University of Connecticut Plant Database,, Mark H. Brand, Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, Storrs, CT 06269-4067 USA.