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AUCUBA japonica

Image of Aucuba japonica

Felder Rushing

Family

Cornaceae

Botanical Name

AUCUBA japonica

Plant Common Name

Japanese Aucuba

General Description

Japanese laurel is a tall, bushy, broadleaf evergreen shrub that, as its name suggests, is native to Japan and eastern Asia. Its most ornamental features are its thick, glossy, dark green leaves and bright red fruits that appear in fall and remain throughout winter. One particularly popular selection is ‘Crotonifolia’, which has beautiful gold-spotted foliage. This shrub tolerates moist well drained soil and prefers partial shade. To avoid sunscald and leaf desiccation, protect Japanese laurel from hot afternoon sun and winter winds. This is an excellent plant for hedges or massing and may be grown as a large houseplant.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 6

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    6 - 10

  • Sunset Zone

    4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Shade, Full Shade

  • Height

    6'-10' / 1.8m - 3.0m

  • Width

    4'-6' / 1.2m - 1.8m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring

  • Native To

    Eastern Asia, Japan

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam

  • Tolerances

    Pollution, Drought, Salt

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    Purple

  • Fruit Color

    Red

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark Green

  • Bark Color

    Green, Gray

  • Bark Color Modifier

    Striped/Striated

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    Yes

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Fissured

  • Usage

    Container, Feature Plant, Hedges, Houseplant, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Attracts

    Birds

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes