Cherry Laurel ‘Etna’
Cherry laurel ‘Etna’ or prunus laurocerasus ‘Etna’ is a compact variety of cherry laurel. Its leaves are smaller than most other cultivars and its habit of growth is very dense. As a result, cherry laurel ‘Etna’ does not grow as fast as the other varieties with an average of 30cm per year. In addition, it reaches an ultimate height of no more than 2.5m (unpruned) or 1.5-2m (pruned), whereas other cultivars can grow 6-7m tall, which makes this variety a perfect hedge plant for smaller gardens.
Another feature that sets it apart are the smaller leaves. Young foliage is bronzy-orange, maturing to dark glossy green. More frequent prunings result in an extended period of orange growth. A perfect specimen for all sorts of tricky positions, including polluted, dry, cold (down to -27C in winter), shady and exposed sites. Cherry laurel ‘Etna’ makes a lovely formal evergreen hedge or a perfect bushy barrier if left to its own devices. Both the leaves and berries are poisonous to humans.
Cherry Laurel ‘Etna’ for Small Gardens
This small cherry laurel cultivar brings the unequalled beauty of the cherry laurel closer to smaller gardens than ever. While most varieties do not nearly need as much space as countryside hedge plants such as the blackthorn need, the cherry laurel does need a certain amount of room to expose its incredibly handsome foliage. Since cherry laurel ‘Etna’ is a relatively slow grower with a compact habit, it does not need quite as much space and is therefore a perfect fit for gardens that would otherwise be too small for this elegant species. It will certainly make your garden just as lively as all the taller cultivars would. While it can grow tall enough to make a decent privacy hedge, this takes a lot of time and therefore, it is more commonly used as a low hedge.
Cherry Laurel ‘Etna’ for Hardy Evergreen Hedges
The smaller, somewhat rounder leaves of this cultivar really give the cherry laurel ‘Etna’ a character of its own. No less playful, but certainly different than the oblong, oval-shaped leaves that usually characterise a cherry laurel hedge. If you are looking for smaller varieties that still offer this typical shape, you could consider planting a cherry laurel ‘Otto Luyken’ or a cherry laurel ‘Zabeliana’, with which the ‘Etna’ shares an exceptional hardiness. Therefore, the average British winter temperatures are no problem for this beautiful cherry laurel cultivar. Exposed sites are more problematic, as cherry laurels in general are not too fond of the wind. If that is an issue, the spotted laurel is an alternative worth considering.