There are a variety of different types of Laurel plants that are suitable for hedging. In Ireland, the Common or Cherry Laurel group (Prunus laurocerasus) is the most common hedging plant but Portugal Laurel also makes a dense, evergreen hedge. Bay Laurel is also a useful hedging plant.
Cherry Laurel (Common Laurel or English Laurel)
Common Laurel, Cherry Laurel, and English Laurel are different common names for the same plant. Prunus Laurocerasus is its botanical name. This Laurel type will grow in full sun or deep shade and in most soils except waterlogged or very shallow, chalky soils where they may become very pale (chlorotic). They are all hardy and will tolerate temperatures down to -23oC.
The family of Cherry Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus) includes Prunus Laurocerasus, Prunus Laurocerasus “Rotundifolia”, Prunus Laurocerasus “Novita”, Prunus Laurocerasus “Caucasica”, etc. You can find out the features of each type of Cherry Laurel here.
Portugal Laurel (Portuguese Laurel)
Portugal Laurel can be called by another name, Portuguese Laurel. Prunus lusitanica is its botanical name. It is such an evergreen shrub or tree in the rose family native to Portugal and Spain. It can grow 10-2- feet tall and wide, taller if pruned to a tree form. As a shrub, it is dense and rounded in form and can be pruned as a hedge. The leaves are glossy dark green and in spring there are fragrant clusters up to 6-10 inches long of white flowers. These are followed by purple berry-like drupes.
The family of Portugal Laurel consists of Prunus Lusitanica “Angustifolia”, Prunus Lusitanica SPP, Prunus Lusitanica ‘Variegata’, etc. You can find out the features of each type of Portugal Laurel here.
One of the three common Laurel plants in Ireland is Bay Laurel. Its botanical name is Laurus nobilis. It is evergreen and glossy mid-green. Bay Laurel can be alive in winter in sheltered positions (out of the wind). Bay Laurel will grow in any free-draining soil in full sun or partial shade. Hardiness is rated from -5 to -10oC Ultimate height if left untrimmed is 8m (25ft) tall.
As mentioned, 3 common Laurel plants in Ireland are Cherry Laurel, Portugal Laurel and Bay Laurel. You can read more information here.