Plant DetailShow Menu

Aucuba japonica 'Picturata'

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
aw-KEW-ba juh-PON-ih-kuh
Description

In its native habitat, Spotted Laurel can be found growing in moist woodlands, thickets and along streams.  It is an evergreen, dense and rounded shrub. 'Picturata' is a cultivar that has yellow running in the center of the leaves with speckles of yellow dotting the green margins.  It does tend to grown back to solid green leaves, so simply remove any of those stems promptly to encourage the growth of the variegated leaves.  It can be grown as a houseplant in a cool room.

Quick ID Hints:

  • Large, central yellow blotch in most leaves
  • Leaves glossy, coriaceous, elliptic and OPPOSITE

Female plants flower in early spring with small purple flowers.  The foliage is glossy and green with a large central yellow blotch in the middle and surrounded by smaller yellow flecks.  The foliage reverts to all-green during its normal leaf senescence.  Boasting year-round interest in the garden, it can also be used as a potted plant in the cooler zones.  

If one plant is good, then two is better.  Especially if one is female and the other is male.  After pollination, the flowers will give way to bright red berries that will ripen in the fall.  The can persist until the next spring, however, are an attraction for the birds in your winter garden.  Although they may look tempting to eat, ingestion by humans can cause stomach upset.

Shade-tolerant; slow growth; needs organic soil; pest problems.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Indoor plants may suffer from spider mites.  Outdoor plants occasionally suffer from scale, nematodes, and mealybugs.  Fungal leaf spot, southern blight sometimes occur,  Heavy or overly moist soils cause root rot.  Foliage is susceptible to windburn or sun-scald, so plant in a protected area.

More information on Aucuba japonica.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#houseplant#drought tolerant#shrub#purple flowers#salt tolerant#showy leaves#interiorscape#low maintenance#spring flowers#winter interest#interesting leaves#air pollution tolerant#hedges#window boxes#fruits fall#screening#background planting#fantz#poor soils tolerant#patio planting#clay soils tolerant#partial shade tolerant#winter fruits#heavy shade tolerant#shrub borders#container plant#wet soils intolerant#spotted leaves
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#houseplant#drought tolerant#shrub#purple flowers#salt tolerant#showy leaves#interiorscape#low maintenance#spring flowers#winter interest#interesting leaves#air pollution tolerant#hedges#window boxes#fruits fall#screening#background planting#fantz#poor soils tolerant#patio planting#clay soils tolerant#partial shade tolerant#winter fruits#heavy shade tolerant#shrub borders#container plant#wet soils intolerant#spotted leaves
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Aucuba
    Species:
    japonica
    Family:
    Garryaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Landscape
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Japan
    Wildlife Value:
    Birds will eat the winter berries.
    Play Value:
    Easy to Grow
    Shade
    Wildlife Food Source
    Dimensions:
    Height: 4 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 4 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Erect
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Spring
    Winter
    Fruit Type:
    Drupe
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Red berry-like ellipsoid drupe 1/2" long and wide. They ripen in the fall and often remain on the plant until spring.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Panicle
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Cross
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Purple-maroon 4-petals 4-sepals cross-shaped with white anthers bloom in early spring. Not particularly showy and tiny. Dioecious (male and female flowers on separate plants) with the male flowers in terminal cymes or panicles 4 1/2” long. Female flowers are shorter and appear in leaf axils. Axillary cymose panicle, to 1 1/2-2 3/4".
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Gray/Silver
    Variegated
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leathery
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Lanceolate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Opposite, simple, elliptic-ovate to elliptic-lanceolate, dentate, dark green, centrally blotched with gold.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Multistemmed, succulent, green, glabrous and waxy, shield-shaped leaf scars connected by transverse stipular scar.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Houseplants
    Patio
    Walkways
    Landscape Theme:
    Cottage Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Shade Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Foundation Planting
    Hedge
    Screen/Privacy
    Small groups
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Heavy Shade
    Pollution
    Salt