List of Aucuba japonica Types and Cultivars
One of the main things for success with Aucuba japonica – the
Spotted Laurel – is to ensure that you choose the right
cultivar variety for your garden or
container. As mentioned in the main article
Spotted Laurels are available
in two distinct plant forms – being male and female – with
the one exception as far as this list
is concerned, being Aucuba japonica
‘Rozannie’ which has both male and female flowers on the same
The parents of the group – Aucuba japonica
– have both male and female flowered plants – so were able to produce
variable offspring, whilst having the basic characteristics of the
evergreen shrub, also have vivid markings on the leathery foliage. The
variegations are varied, and have the added advantage of being on female
plants. This enables a two dimensional facet to the shrub – colourful
evergreen foliage and bright scarlet berries in
the right conditions.
Most of the cultivars mentioned arose from different ‘sports’ –
rather than as seedlings. It is worth mentioning that most mentioned
here are sold under many different names – not always able to pinpoint
correctly – other than the two AGM types mentioned.
Aucuba j Crotonifolia |
Aucuba j 'Gold Dust' | Aucuba j. 'Variegata' | Aucuba
j. 'Picturata' Image above
Together with that, the foliage is often variable on the same plant.
Sometimes vividly marked, sometimes with shoots reverting back to green
- cut them out!
List of Aucuba japonica shrubs
- Aucuba japonica – The Spotted Laurel parent of
the group, is evergreen with dark green glossy leaves – sometimes
toothed around the perimeter. The foliage is rarely marked other
than a few spots which gives it its common name. It is often wrongly
assumed that this plain looking shrub is always male and needed for
pollination of female flowers on the choicer-looking plants listed
below. Not so – for there are both male and female forms.
all the listed plants, the flowers appear in late spring. Erect
panicles of small flowers having brownish red petals, with the
female plants differentiated in that they also have yellow anthers
(the pollen bearing parts.) Height to around 1.4 – 1.5 meters with
slightly less spread.
- Aucuba japonica ‘Rozannie’ AGM – has both male
and female flowers on same plant, so mature plants are reasonably
assured of having berries. Dark green foliage, rarely if ever
variegated. Not often reaching more than 1 metre height and spread –
having a very compact habit..
- Aucuba japonica ‘Golden King’ AGM - male
flowered cultivar, so no berries – but with well marked leaves of
golden yellow splashes – accented in the large leathery leaves. A
good showy variety if you are prepared to forego berries.
- Aucuba japonica ‘Crotonifolia’
AGM female with broadly
spear-shaped leaves splashed with golden yellow blotches rather than
spots. Takes it’s varietal name from the attractive houseplant by
name of Croton. Height to 1.5 metres; spectacular when in berry.
- Aucuba japonica ‘Gold Dust’ – female cultivar
with brightly marked golden yellow spots on mid green
leaves. Ht to 1.5m.
- Aucuba japonica ‘Picturata’ – has broad
splashes of light yellow in centres of leaves – variable in that
some leaves will be heavily marked and others simply with light
green foliage. I have found this one to be
troubled by black leaf spots which do not respond to any treatment I