Azores laurel cherry (Prunus lusitanica azorica)

loading
Azores laurel cherry flowers
loading
Loading more images and videos...

Azores laurel cherry fact file

Azores laurel cherry description

KingdomPlantae
PhylumTracheophyta
ClassMagnoliopsida
OrderRosales
FamilyRosaceae
GenusPrunus (1)

This subspecies of Portugal laurel (Prunus lusitanica) is a hardy evergreen tree with larger, thicker leaves than the other subspecies, but with the same beautiful clusters of white scented flowers when in bloom. The leaves are reddish when young, but turn dark green when mature, while the stalks remain red (4).

Size
Height: up to 4 m (2)
Top

Azores laurel cherry biology

Whereas the common name used for the species, Portugal laurel, incorrectly implies that it is a variety of laurel (Lauraceae), the name given to the subspecies, Azores laurel cherry, paints a more accurate picture, recognising that it is in fact a type of cherry. Unlike other cherries, however, this plant is evergreen, resembling laurels. Further more, Portugal laurels do not bloom until after new leaves form in spring, whereas most cherries bloom before leafing (5). This tree’s stunning white flowers blossom in June, have both male and female organs, and are pollinated by insects (3) (6). The flowers give way to green cherries that eventually ripen to a shiny black colour in autumn (5).

Top

Azores laurel cherry range

The tree is found on the islands of Sâo Miguel, Terceira, Sâo Jorge and Pico off Portugal (Azores) (1).

Top

Azores laurel cherry habitat

Inhabits deep, narrow ravines and undisturbed laurel-juniper forests (1).

Top

Azores laurel cherry status

Classified as Endangered (EN B1 + 2ce) on the IUCN Red List 2004 (1), listed on Annex II of the European Habitats Directive and on Appendix 1 of the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (3).

Top

Azores laurel cherry threats

The major threats to this subspecies are the clearance of trees for agriculture and plantations, and the competition and predation pressure posed by introduced animals and plants (1).

Top

Azores laurel cherry conservation

No conservation initiatives are currently in place for this subspecies.

Top

Find out more

For further information on the Azores laurel cherry see:

Top

Authentication

This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:
arkive@wildscreen.org.uk

Top

Glossary

Subspecies
A population usually restricted to a geographical area that differs from other populations of the same species, but not to the extent of being classified as a separate species.
Top

References

  1. IUCN Red List (December, 2004)
    http://www.redlist.org
  2. Huxley, A. (1997) The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. Macmillan Reference Limited, London.
  3. Council of Europe (December, 2004)
    http://www.coe.int/T/e/Cultural_Co-operation/Environment/Nature_and_biological_diversity/Nature_protection/Resolution6(1998).asp
  4. Pan-Global Plants (December, 2004)
    http://www.panglobalplants.com/plants-plantview=shrubs-filter=P-startrow=21.htm
  5. Portugal laurel (November, 2005)
    http://www.paghat.com/portuguallaurel.html
  6. Plants For A Future (November, 2005)
    http://www.ibiblio.org/pfaf/cgi-bin/arr_html?Prunus+lusitanica&CAN=COMIND
X
Close

Image credit

Azores laurel cherry flowers  
Azores laurel cherry flowers

© Hanno Schäfer

Hanno Schäfer
hannoschaefer99@hotmail.com

X
Close

Link to this photo

ARKive species - Azores laurel cherry (Prunus lusitanica azorica) Embed this ARKive thumbnail link ("portlet") by copying and pasting the code below.

Terms of Use - The displayed portlet may be used as a link from your website to ARKive's online content for private, scientific, conservation or educational purposes only. It may NOT be used within Apps.

Read more about

X
Close

MyARKive

MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends.

Play the Team WILD game:

Team WILD, an elite squadron of science superheroes, needs your help! Your mission: protect and conserve the planet’s species and habitats from destruction.

Conservation in Action

Which species are on the road to recovery? Find out now »

Help us share the wonders of the natural world. Donate today!

Blog