Family: Aucubaceae
Common Name: Japanese Laurel

With this genus, flowers of the two sexes occur on different plants so that both male and female plants need to be grown to obtain the pretty berries. While they grow well outdoors, they can also be potted for indoor use.


A. japonica is the most widely cultivated species. It has thick, soft, shiny deep green leaves and small maroon flowers. If pollinated, the female plant bears drooping clusters of long red berries. Cultivar' Variegata', spotted laurel or golddust plant, has large, shiny leaves, generously spotted with gold; 'Crotonifolia' has large green leaves, with white and gold spots; 'Serratifolia' has long, dark green leaves with deeply cut edges; 'Picturata' has impressive mottled foliage, with a yellow blotch at the center of each leaf.


These shrubs thrive in most moist, well-drained soils. The variegated types, in particular, need shade, otherwise the leaves will burn. Aucuba grows vigorously, particularly if it is kept moist, so regular pruning will be required to maintain the shape and to constrain it. Propagate from half-ripe tip cuttings in summer.


Zone 8 and above.

Aubrieta      Aurinia