Plant ID forum: I've been searching for days, but can't figure out what this is!

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Bazzlin
Aug 16, 2016 12:44 PM CST
There are at least 6 of these plants/bushes growing in the yard. In all different heights. The biggest one is at least 15ft high. The smallest is less than a foot. Very bushy. Only one has flower stalks with tiny white flowers on it. (One of the younger ones)

Only the largest ones have berries. (5ft+) The berries are soft, round, black and contain a large seed inside.

Leaves are thick, dark green and alternate.

Looks like a very large bush. I'm in PNW. Seems to grow very easy. The property has been neglected for months without water in intense summer heat, yet these are thriving!
Thumb of 2016-08-16/Bazzlin/9b0fdc

Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
Aug 16, 2016 1:37 PM CST
Not positive but it could be Prunus laurocerasus or Prunus carolinana, both have a common name of Cherry Laurel.
If so, do not eat the fruit - toxic.
Crush a handful of leaves and see if you smell either almonds or cherries.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"

Bazzlin
Aug 16, 2016 2:28 PM CST
Thank you! It seems to be Prunus laurocerasus. After crushing the leaves for awhile, they did start to have a faint cherry smell. Too bad the whole thing is poisonous. Thanks again!
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
Image
greene
Aug 17, 2016 11:31 AM CST
I tip my hat to you.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Mike
Baltimore, MD (Zone 7b)
Organic Gardener Herbs Vegetable Grower Permaculture
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EvergreenMike
Aug 17, 2016 12:06 PM CST
The toxicity of Prunus laurocerasus is often overstated. In truth, it's no more poisonous than other Prunus species including cherries, peaches, almonds, nectarines, and plums. ONLY the completely ripe fruit is edible, and in the case of Prunus laurocerasus it should be black and taste similar to cherries. It's the leaves, seeds, and unripe fruit that contain cyanogenic glycosides which are only toxic when ingested. If the fruit tastes bitter or like almond, that's the cyanogenic glycosides, and the fruit isn't yet ripe. Simply spit it out. It's not terribly dangerous. Though they contain the same chemical in higher concentration than even unripe fruit, almonds are eaten in mass. It would take about 1000-1500 almonds in one day to achieve a lethal dose.
[Last edited by EvergreenMike - Aug 17, 2016 12:16 PM (+)]
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