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Aucuba japonica

Japanese laurel

A bushy, rounded, evergreen shrub up to 3m high and wide, with thick, oval, glossy leaves. Small, red-purple flowers in spring are followed, on female plants, by clusters of red autumn berries provided there is a male plant nearby to provide pollen

Other common names
blotch-leaved laurel
gold-leaf plant
see moreJapan laurel
spotted laurel
variegated laurel
Synonyms
Aucuba japonica 'Viridis'
Aucuba japonica 'Concolor'
see moreAucuba japonica var. viridis
Aucuba concolor

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Size
Ultimate height
2.5–4 metres
Time to ultimate height
10–20 years
Ultimate spread
2.5–4 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Purple Green
Summer Green
Autumn Green Red
Winter Green Red
Position
  • Full shade
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

East–facing or North–facing or South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H5
Botanical details
Family
Garryaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Bushy
Potentially harmful
Fruit is ornamental - not to be eaten. Wear gloves and other protective equipment when handling Pets: Fruit is ornamental - not to be eaten - see the HTA guide to potentially harmful plants for further information and useful contact numbers
Genus

Aucuba are dioecious evergreen shrubs with simple, leathery leaves, attractively variegated in many cultivars, and small purple flowers followed on female plants by large glossy red fruit

Name status

Correct

Plant range
Temperate E Asia

How to grow

Cultivation

Will grow in almost any soil or situation except soil prone to waterlogging, tolerating full shade, dry soil, pollution and salt wind

Propagation

Propagate by taking semi-ripe cuttings from late summer to autumn

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Coastal
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Low Maintenance
  • Hedging and screens
Pruning

Pruning group 1; trim hedges in spring; shrubs may be renovated by hard pruning in spring

Pests

Generally pest-free

Diseases

May be susceptible to honey fungus

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