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Spotted Laurel Aucuba japonica

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
aw-KYOO-bah jah-PON-ih-kah
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Aucuba japonica, commonly called spotted laurel, is a rounded, shade-loving, evergreen shrub. It typically grows to 6-10' (infrequently to 15') tall, unless pruned shorter.  Plants in this genus are dioecious (male and female flowers on separate plants). 

Easy to transplant; it is grown as a houseplant in temperate climates.  They require cool room temperatures of 50-65 degrees F.  

Cultivars:
  • 'Nana'
    Dwarf cultivar is compact, 3' x 3', slow grower; foliage green with dusting of yellow.
  • 'Variegata'
Tags:
#evergreen#houseplant#salt tolerant#playground#cpp#children's garden
Cultivars:
  • 'Nana'
    Dwarf cultivar is compact, 3' x 3', slow grower; foliage green with dusting of yellow.
  • 'Variegata'
Tags:
#evergreen#houseplant#salt tolerant#playground#cpp#children's garden
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Aucuba
    Species:
    japonica
    Family:
    Garryaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Asia
    Distribution:
    Native to moist woodland areas, thickets, valleys and along stre
    Play Value:
    Buffer
    Wind Screen
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Moderately salt tolerant.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 6 ft. 0 in. - 10 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 4 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Poisonous
    Shrub
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Dense
    Erect
    Rounded
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Winter
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    ellipsoid, one-seeded, berry-like drupes (to 1/2”) which ripen to red in fall, and often persist on the plant until spring
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Purple/Lavender
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Panicle
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Cross
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Tiny purple-maroon flowers with creamy white anthers bloom in early spring (March-April). Each flower has four sepals and four petals. Plants in this genus are dioecious (male and female flowers on separate plants). Male flowers appear in upright terminal panicles (cymes to 4 1/2” long). Female flowers appear in shorter clusters from the leaf axils.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leathery
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Ovate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    medium to rich green leaves (each to 8” long) have coarse marginal teeth on the upper half of each leaf, young leaves exposed to sun will blacken
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Round
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Houseplants
    Patio
    Landscape Theme:
    Children's Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Hedge
    Screen/Privacy
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Salt
  • Poison:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Nausea, vomiting, possible fever
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Aucubin, a glycoside
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Fruits
    Leaves