Aucuba japonica
Common name: 
Japanese Aucuba
Japanese Laurel
aw-KU-ba ja-PON-ik-a
Garryaceae, Aucubaceae
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Broadleaf evergreen shrub, 6-10 ft (2-3 m) high, densely upright-rounded to rounded, forming a thicket of arching branches, tidy and neat in appearance.  Leaves opposite, simple, leathery, 8-20 cm long, 4-8 cm wide, apex acute to acuminate, base broad wedge-shaped, margin entire to coarsely dentate toward the apex, lustrous dark green above and lighter below, petiole 1.3-5 cm long.   Dioecious - male and female plant.  Flowers purple, male in upright terminal clusters, female flowers axillary.  Fruit red, 2 cm long.  Both male and female plants required for fruit production.
  • Shade.  Prefers well-drained, moist, high organic matter soils.  Makes a choice container plant.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone (6)7     Native from the Himalayas to southern Japan.
  • Several selections, the most common ones are variegated, such as:
  • Some of the non-variegated cultivars include:
    • ‘Salicifolia’ (‘Longifolia’)  -  narrow willowlike, serrated leaves; female.
    • ‘Nana’  -  compact form, to about 3 ft, relativly erect, abundant fruit on female plants.
  • Oregon State Univ. campus: behind Owen Hall, east end.
Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit

    plant habit

  • leaves and fruit

    leaves and fruit

  • fruiting branch

    fruiting branch