WSU Clark County Extension

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Otto Luyken English laurel

Scientific name: Prunus laurocerasus 'Otto Luyken'

Type:Evergreen shrubs
Plant Requirements
Zone:6 to 8
Sun:Full to partial sun
Plant Characteristics
Height:3 ft
Width:6 ft
Bloom:Spring flowers
Bloom Time:May to June
Bloom Color:White
Additional Characteristics



Wildlife value

Description English laurel is a popular specimen shrub, grown extensivley in areas west of the Cascades as well as in Europe and the British Isles.

As an evergreen shrub, growing 3’ tall and 6’ wide, ‘Otto Luyken’ laurel has upright stems, bearing leaves which are 5” long and 1” wide. They are dark green and shiny above, pale beneath, and have entire margins. The leaves point up, away from the stems, thus helping distinguish this cultivar from other varieties.

Fragrant white flowers form in the spring. These are tiny, cup-shaped, and are arranged in upright racemes 3-6” long. From the flowers, half inch wide purple to black fruit arise in the in the summer, though they're usually hidden from view deep within the foliage.

Don't let small children put the ripe berries in their mouth as they are poisonous.

‘Otto Luyken’ laurel serves well grouped together as a broad hedge, or as a single specimen. English laurel grows best in a slightly acidic soil. Prune after flowering. Shearing for hedge growth results in unsightly mutilated leaves; it's best to prune individual branches. This cultivar can survive shade.

None reported.
For assistance, contact Dr. Charles Brun (, (360) 397-6060 5701
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