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Variegated Portuguese Laurel

Prunus lusitanica 'Variegata'

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Variegated Portuguese Laurel (Prunus lusitanica 'Variegata') at Valley View Farms

Variegated Portuguese Laurel foliage

Variegated Portuguese Laurel foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  19 feet

Spread:  20 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  6b

Other Names:  Portugal Laurel Variegata


A large growing dense laurel, producing showy, fragrant, erect spikes of white flowers, black fruit and glossy dark-green and white variegated leaves; this vigorously growing variety makes a stunning hedge or accent plant, takes pruning very well

Ornamental Features

Variegated Portuguese Laurel features showy racemes of fragrant white flowers rising above the foliage in early summer. It has attractive white-variegated dark green foliage. The glossy pointy leaves are highly ornamental and remain dark green throughout the winter. The fruits are showy black drupes displayed in mid summer.

Landscape Attributes

Variegated Portuguese Laurel is a dense multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with a shapely oval form. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. It is a good choice for attracting birds to your yard. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Variegated Portuguese Laurel is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • Hedges/Screening
  • General Garden Use

Planting & Growing

Variegated Portuguese Laurel will grow to be about 19 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 20 feet. It tends to fill out right to the ground and therefore doesn't necessarily require facer plants in front, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 50 years or more.

This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in rich soils, and is able to handle environmental salt. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Accent  Massing  Screening  Garden 
Flowers  Fruit  Foliage Color  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features
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