Cherry Laurel


Hazard Information

Route: Ingestion     Plant Part: Berries

Scale: High

Rapid breathing, vomiting, headache, convulsions.

Berries' skin is fairly harmless however the flesh is very poisonous.



Common Name(s)

Cherry Laurel

Latin Name

Prunus Laurocerasus


An evergreen shrub which can grow to about 6 metres (20ft) high, with greyish brown bark with short stemmed glossy oval bright green leaves, the spikes of creamy white flowers develop into bunches of purplish black berries. 


The berries are attractive to children, although the flesh is relatively harmless the seeds are very poisonous if chewed. 


Rapid breathing, vomiting, headache and convulsions which may develop within a few hours. The mistake of using Laurel leaves instead of Bay leaves when cooking can also lead to poisoning.  

Flowering Period

Early Summer flowers. Berries in Autumn.


Shrubberies and gardens (often used as hedging).