As the most famous evergreen hedging shrubs, varied types of laurel can thrive in many climates and offer lots of joy. Moreover, they come with showy blossoms, attractive foliage, and pleasant fragrance.
Also, gardeners might train them as topiary art to provide an aesthetic appeal.
Are you interested in growing some varieties for the backyard? Here we show plenty of common laurel cultivars with some popular facts and benefits.
Hopefully, some types will become the most beautiful landscape ideas that work great to cultivate in your garden.
Fun Facts about Laurel Bush
The mountain laurel, one of the blooming shrubs, becomes the state flower of Pennsylvania.
This ornamental evergreen bush bears pretty clusters of pink, white, and red blossoms. Furthermore, there are several interesting facts about the hedging plants as follow:
- Some types of laurel that function as food seasonings give a sweet almond taste. Also, the distilled leaves usually produce famous drinking water.
- One of the oldest plants belongs to the English laurel cultivar. Its sweet fragrance makes it become a variety of beautiful bouquets and corsages.
- It is familiar that putting some laurel leaves under the pillow can improve someone’s creativity.
- The great worth of the laurel leaves influences the etymology of the words baccalaureate and laureate.
- Colorful dyes from the fruit and leaves are useful for some specific cloth.
- Laurel wreaths become a symbol of victory in Roman and Greek beliefs.
Various Types of Laurel Cultivars
Numerous laurel varieties come with their unique sets of features that will suit a wide range of gardening purposes.
The practical benefits may add interest to grow in any condition. Some of these cultivars are available in topiaries, pot grown, instant screens, and root balls.
Carolina Cherry Laurel (Prunus caroliniana)
Prunus caroliniana is one of the largest types of laurel that will mature about a height of 6 m and a width of 12 meters. Therefore, some of these varieties often grow naturally as a privacy fence.
Although this hedging shrub has spring white flowers, they rarely appear to see. Interestingly, the Carolina Cherry cultivar is a drought-tolerant bush so that it can grow well in dry gardens.
California Bay Laurel (Umbellularia californica)
As this variety gets its name, Umbellularia californica is natively from California and Oregon mountains. When spring comes, the plant bears small clusters of yellow blossoms. Also, it has aromatic foliage that resembles a lance. The leaves give a stronger taste than the sweet bay.
California Bay cultivars are types of laurel that belong to either a shrub or tree. They grow in hardiness zones at 7 to 10 and mature about 4.9 meters in height.
Crotonifolia (Aucuba japonica)
Crotonifolia cultivars are the types of laurel that feature golden splashes on the green leaves with bright red berries. These spotted shrubs develop dark purple male blossoms or female flowers. Additionally, they grow well in partial shade rather than direct sunshine.
Elf Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia)
The Elf Mountain varieties are the types of laurel that become the initial dwarf cultivar in zones 5 to 9. They reach 91 cm tall and 122 centimeters wide.
Their dark green foliage produces pink buds that will transform into small clusters of pinkish-white blossoms.
Caucasica (Prunus laurocerasus)
The Caucasica bushes are fast-growing types of laurel that love growing in either full sunlight or partial shade. Make sure that you prepare well-drained and humid planting areas before cultivating them.
These evergreen plants grow more quickly than other laurel varieties. They hold the striking deep green foliage during the winter season. Therefore, the shrubs possess their colorful leaves all year round.
Interestingly, bees attract to the spring-white blossoms. Meanwhile, the birds that love the red berries that ripen every fall season will fly above the laurel shrubs for feeding.
Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia)
The mountain varieties are the types of laurel that come from the US. These shrubs inhabit along the rocky streams.
First, cultivate them in acidic planting areas to reach a height of 4.6 meters in maturity. Then, they are closely similar to rhododendrons with the same care treatments.
As good companions, rhododendrons and azaleas are used by gardeners to grow with the mountain laurel. They offer an attractive visual appealing from the pink, red, and white showy blossoms.
Additionally, plenty of clusters will appear in May until June. After pollination, the shrub produces brown fruits during the fall and winter season.
Also, the glossy leaves change their coloration from soft green to deep purple.
Olympic Fire Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia)
The Olympic fire cultivars reach a height and width of 3 meters in maturity. Moreover, these types of laurel feature reddish-pink buds that will develop into deep-pink blossoms.
So, if you live in zones 5 to 9, this large shrub variety is the best choice to add to your garden.
Likewise, these pink flowering types of laurel come from the redbuds. However, the Ostbo shrubs have smaller wavy leaves.
Furthermore, as they grow at maturity, the height reaches more than 1.8 meters. Besides, the sturdy bushes that are native to the Northwest can withstand more sun exposure.
Otto Luyken Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus)
If you are looking for a background bush or low hedge, then some types of laurel with low-maintenance are great for a perfect addition to your garden.
For example, the Otto Luyken cultivars are shade-tolerant shrubs that can grow in well-drained soils but keep them moist.
Also, these varieties that feature attractive leaves can grow up to 1.2 m in height and 1.8 meters in width.
Moreover, as the low-growing shrubs can reduce any noise, they often function as foot-traffic barriers.
Peppermint Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia)
The peppermint varieties are great options to cultivate in zones 5 to 9. Interestingly, these flowering shrubs have unique blossoms that bloom in the spring season.
Furthermore, the white petals come with deep-red striped markings around the edges. Then, the mature plants reach 3 meters tall.
Etna (Prunus laurocerasus)
Most evergreen types of laurel include the Etna cultivars have a compact form. In addition, the young leaves come in an orange-bronze hue that will turn into shiny deep-green as they age.
Subsequently, these hardy shrubs thrive full sunlight or partial shade areas.
Moreover, Etna laurel can grow in various planting areas like chalky or clay soil. This flowering plant is very charming since it develops creamy-white blossoms.
After that, the foliage will produce shiny black fruits in the fall season.
Portugal Laurel (Prunus lusitanica)
Portuguese laurel cultivars belong to slow-growing plants. However, the hardy shrubs can form a compact shape that resists any harsh wind, pollution, and drought.
Besides, their foliage is similar to the bay laurel plants with an oval shape and a shiny surface.
The bushy types of laurel produce spikes of white blossoms in early summer. In addition, each flower consists of five petals with a pleasant scent.
Moreover, these shrubs bear colorful fruits from a vibrant red hue to deep-purple berries when ripen. Thus, the pendulous clusters of berries attract birds to feed on them.
Additionally, Portugal laurel is famous for its ornamental plants. People treat the shrubs as a tree to develop on one bole. They have a compact shape to provide a hardy privacy screen in the backyard.
Great Laurel (Rhododendron maximum)
Rhododendron maximum becomes the state flower in West Virginia. Different from most types of laurel, this cultivar performs an erect growth habit.
The narrow and ovate leaves are waxy and also thick. Their surface is dark green, whereas the underside has a splash of tan.
Moreover, the great laurel foliage feature several blooms that locate on the top of the branches. Each cluster consists of 24 flowers that resemble a bell. Then, the white blossoms have pinkish-purple blotches around the petals.
Purple Leaf Sandcherry (Prunus x cistena)
These sturdy types of laurel become one of the most favorite shrubs since they can grow in all soil requirements as well as colder locations.
Furthermore, the height will reach 3 meters at maturity. Then, the purple leaf sand cherry cultivars can hold the fascinating fuchsia color during the summer season.
Rozannie (Aucuba japonica)
Some types of laurel feature both male and female blossoms on one plant, including the Rozannie variety. In addition, this dwarf shrub has glossy deep-green foliage. Then, start from late autumn to winter, the red berries develop in large sizes and look eye-catching.
The schipka cultivars are cold-resistant types of laurel, so the hardy varieties are perfect for growing in regions with colder climates.
As they mature, the height will be about 4.6 meters. However, this adaptable shrub can be short plants by pruning regularly.
Snowdrift Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia)
Compared to other types of laurel, the snowdrift cultivar has very bright pure-white blossoms. These striking clusters of flowers contrast to the glossy deep-green foliage.
Generally, the stunning shrubs grow in zones 5 to 9.
Golden King (Aucuba japonica)
The types of laurel that share similar characteristics are the golden king and crotonifolia cultivars. Both varieties have the same foliage patterns and male blossoms. Their eye-catching leaves are also large.
Furthermore, they prefer partial shaded areas to full sun exposure. Additionally, this evergreen shrub natively comes from Japan, Korea, and China. The gold dust foliage grows naturally round, so regular trimming is not necessary.
Also, the spring-blooming bush shows its stunning deep-purple flowers with creamy anthers and pointed petals.
Then, after the male flowers pollinate the females, they will produce glossy red berries. These edible fruits become a source of food for birds.
Besides, the light shades of the foliage are suitable for brightening the dark spot in the garden.
Additionally, Golden King and its cultivars have got an award due to having lots of superior features.
Thus, gardeners use them as ornamental decorations and flowering screens. Remember, they will perform better in high-nutrient soil with organic compost.
Little Linda, another dwarf variety, has a height of under 0.9 meters. In addition, it consists of dark green leaves and light pink buds that turn into pinkish blossoms.
Besides, the plant can hold this large and spot-resistant foliage all round year.
Spurge Laurel (Daphne laureola)
Daphne laureola varieties are the only types of laurel with a matching coloration. The blossoms as well as leaves come in the same shade of green.
Whereas, the striking fruits are black berries. Furthermore, they inhabit in woodlands along with the limestones.
Tinkerbell Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia)
From several dwarf types of laurel, tinkerbell is a flowering shrub that grows about 90 cm tall. Likewise, its best locations are in zones 5 to 9.
Also, the bush develops dark pink buds that will bloom in a bright pinkish shade.
Laurel or Sweet Bay (Laurus nobilis)
Sweet bay features smaller foliage than other types of laurel. Moreover, its maximum growth is 3.7 meters in full sun locations.
Besides, make sure that the soil is rich in nutrients, well-drained, and moisture to help it grow well.
Then, the aromatic foliage has tiny and wavy shapes with a dark green hue. Alternatively, let the leaves dry to turn them into spices.
They give a flavor to some dishes such as soups, pasta sauces, as well as stews. Therefore, many gardeners cultivate the sweet bay shrub due to its fragrant herb.
Since the sweet bay cultivar can be either a shrub or a small tree, you may plant it in a container. The general characteristics of this plant are the ovate shape, compact growth habit, and also ornamental use.
Moreover, the yellow flowers will develop dark purple berries if the male blossoms pollinate them.
Maculata (Aucuba japonica)
Maculata, as known as Variegata, comes with female blossoms with dark green foliage. Furthermore, the large leaves have bright yellow marks in the center part.
Those unique sets of characteristics that makes this evergreen more appealing.
Minuet Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia)
Likewise, the Minuet variety belong to one of the most attractive types of laurel due to its flowers.
From soft-pink buds, the stunning blossoms come in pinkish petals coupled with red stripes around the edge. Similar to the dwarf cultivars, the shrub matures at a width and height of 0.9 meters.
Cherry Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus)
Cherry laurel varieties are the most popular shrubs in the US that have a dense form with small black fruits.
Their tiny white flowers are difficult to see since the blossoms hide behind the foliage. Meanwhile, the leaves that size 12.7 cm long and 5.1 centimeters wide are large and leathery.
In addition, this flowering shrub that is native to Iran and Europe will start blooming in mid-summer. So, to give an excellent performance, grow it in a full sunspot.
Then, the fast-growing plant is ideal for short-term hedging with low-maintenance.
Texas Mountain Laurel
Sophora secundiflora is from Texas, as its common name implies. This evergreen plant has an erect as well as narrow growth habit.
Similar to all types of laurel, it forms compact foliage. The leaves are thick, leathery, and like a spoon with a deep green color.
The Texas mountain cultivar features heavy hanging clusters in a bluish-purple hue, so this plant is famous for its blossoms.
Also, the stunning flowers look like wisteria with a specific sweet aroma that is similar to bubblegum flavor.
Likewise, the blooming flowers produce lots of pollen that attract bees, butterflies, and other insects.
Then, the blossoms will develop into clusters of gray seed pods. You can use them to create handmade necklaces.
This hardy flowering bush withstands in harsh climates and drought conditions. But it prefers well-drained and alkaline soils to provide a superior performance.
However, keep away the shrub from children and pets because the whole parts of the plant is poisonous.
Benefits of Laurel Shrubs
There are many reasons to choose laurel hedge plants for a great addition to the landscape. Various cultivars resist dry or wet areas and cold or warm climates.
These versatile shrubs grow well in any soils, except for water-logged and chalky ground.
The compact as well as fast-growing habits provide attractive privacy screens in the yard by offering a pretty tone of green foliage.
Laurel leaves are glossy so that they evoke a visual appeal and reflect sunlight to give a warm look. Also, the bushes can be a lifesaver when the winter season comes.
Since most types of laurel are low-maintenance shrubs, they only require regular pruning once a year.
Thus, do not worry about a shaggy or bushy look since the hedging plants will be in perfect shape after you train them.
Fortunately, these types of laurel can reduce some noises from a busy road, so it helps to create a quiet ambiance to the surroundings. Therefore, hedging shrubs are the best options to grow near a highway.
Then, you might choose either dwarf or regular cultivars to suit the hedge sizes as desired. Their aromatic fragrance will attract bees.
Meanwhile, the birds usually feed on edible fruits. The black or red berries have a tasty flavor as well as an attractive look.
In conclusion, most types of laurel are versatile for protecting the yard from strong winds due to their dense form. They also come with an aesthetic appearance and pleasant scent to beautify your garden.