Book of Mediterranean Trees, Shrubs and Climbers


Aucuba japonica  Aucuba, Spotted Laurel
Family Garryaceae
Genus Aucuba    
Species japonica  [jap-ON-ik-a]  of Japan
Properties shrub dioecious
Aucuba japonica, commonly called spotted laurel, Japanese laurel, Japanese aucuba or gold dust plant (U.S.), is a shrub (1–5 m, 3.3–16.4 ft) native to rich forest soils of moist valleys, thickets, by streams and near shaded moist rocks in China, Korea, and Japan. This is the species of Aucuba commonly seen in gardens - often in variegated form. The leaves are opposite, broad lanceolate, 5–8 cm (2.0–3.1 in) long and 2–5 cm (0.79–1.97 in) wide. Aucuba japonica are dioecious, they have separate male and female plants. The flowers are small, 4–8 mm (0.16–0.31 in) diameter, with four purplish-brown petals; they are produced in clusters of 10-30 in a loose cyme. The fruit is a red berry approximately 1 cm (0.39 in) in diameter, which is avoided by birds.
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