Japanese Aucuba / Aucuba japonica

Aucuba japonica ‘Golden King’ – An RHS Award of Garden Merit winner with broad evergreen foliage that is heavily spotted and flecked in golden-yellow, with the the foliage darkening as it ages. It is a male cultivar with reddish-purple spring flowers and a necessity for pollinating female varieties. Drought tolerant once established. Grows 6-8′ high by 5-6′ wide. Hardy to zone 6.

Aucuba japonica ‘Rozannie’ – A novelty among Japanese Aucuba as this cultivar is a self-fertile female with both male and female flowers, followed by bright red berries. This RHS Award of Garden Merit winner features very glossy dark green foliage with no variegation at all. It is also a compact form and grows well in part to deep shade. Height 3-4′. Spread 3′. Hardy to zone 6.

Aucuba japonica ‘Picturata’ – This is officially a male clone, but I have seen female plants with similar variegation patterns being sold as ‘Picturata’. The broad deep green leaves have a bold band of golden-yellow down the center with the remainder highlighted by fine gold speckling. All-green reversions are common and should be removed entirely. Grows 4-6′ high by 4-5′. Zone 6.

Aucuba japonica ‘Salicifolia’ – A hard to findĀ  female cultivar with bright red berries (when pollinated) and distinct narrow green foliage that has earned it the common name of Willow Leaf Aucuba. Aucuba was first brought to Europe from Japan in 1783 and remains popular, much in part to its tolerance of urban pollution. AGM. Grows 5 to 6′ high by 5′ wide. Hardy to zone 6.

Aucuba japonica ‘Crotonifolia’ – A female selection with red berries and heavy gold spotting on glossy evergreen foliage. Also known as the Spotted Laurel, Aucuba makes a great informal evergreen hedge for shaded gardens and is a superb foundation shrub where height is needed. It is an RHS Award of Garden Merit winner. Grows 5-6′ high by 4-5′ wide. Hardy to zone 6.

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