I am wondering what kind of plant this is. It has (relatively) thick leaves and occasionally small white flowers.

enter image description here

One of my dogs sometimes likes to sniff it. She'll balance on three feet (two and a half - she's missing part of one) and moves her leg like she's scratching herself while sniffing.

Would it be bad to have in the back yard so the dogs could smell it regularly?

  • My 1st thought is a common laurel as stormy mentioned, but in the PNW they flowers do not smell at all. From the picture, it looks like the lighter green, smaller leaves have the flower. So I am curious if this is two different plants or one plant with different growth age? Jun 17, 2017 at 3:25
  • @TheGrumpyTurtle - good point; I've assumed someone's cut it back at the front because, if it is Wax privet, it does get rather large
    – Bamboo
    Jun 17, 2017 at 11:41

2 Answers 2


I think it's one of the Ligustrums, maybe a Japanese Privet (Ligustrum japonicum), possibly (but less likely) L. lucidum, especially if the flowers are fragrant). These plants are poisonous to dogs, but only if they eat a lot of the leaves, or some of the berries - commonest effect of a light ingestion is upset stomach. I'm not convinced your dog is sniffing the plant itself, its much more likely that its sniffing out where other animals have been.

  • I like this ID, Bamboo. I used to plant the Golden Vicary Privet and this does look like that shrub. I think there's a rat back in there the dog is interested in...or ground squirrel or cat...nice to know this is poisonous to dogs
    – stormy
    Jun 19, 2017 at 17:20

My initial ID would be Prunus laurocerasus or 'Schipkaensis'Prunus laurocerasus

P. Schipkaensis

The flowers are a bit off...knock you down fragrance. I love you for giving this dog a wonderful life. I don't think these shrubs are poisonous, but the ID is still suspect. Please send a close up of flowers and leaves. Try not to allow your dogs to eat anything other than unadulterated grass. They are not carnivores but omnivores. Vegetables are important in their diet. But right now I am not liking your dogs munching on anything not solidly ID'd.

  • Thanks for the ID - I'll check it out. I'm pretty sure that she's not eating any of it - just smelling. Jun 19, 2017 at 15:11

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