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Origin: Eastern Europe, Southwest Asia
Botanical characteristics: It is a large evergreen shrub, which grows rapidly and is bushy, thick and compact; it can take tree shape. The oblong leaves are leathery with serrated margins, up to 15 cm long and dark green above, pale green below. In May it bears numerous white, fragrant flowers in erect racemes, up to 15 cm long and followed by red fruits like cherries, black at maturity.
Agronomic and environmental characteristics: It is present everywhere, since it grows wild. It adapts to all types of soils but prefers the moderately moist, fertile ones, from slightly acid to alkaline. It dislikes calcareous and shallow-soils.
Use: It is mainly used in perimeter formal hedges, but also in free hedges. It tolerates drastic pruning. In parks and gardens it is used as isolated plant or in groups.