Aucuba Plants For Landscaping
One of the most attractive home landscape plants is the Aucuba plants. Aucuba plants are hardy, versatile shrubs that gardeners plant in the garden where hardy or in containers and as houseplants in colder climates. The plants are native in warm to semi-tropical climates in regions from the Himalayas to areas of eastern Asia. Growers usually raise the plants for the large, ornamental leaves and large red berries. The plants are dioecious, meaning that a female flower must be fertilized with pollen from a male plant to produce fruit. At least one cultivar, rozannie, has bisexual flowers. Female cultivars of A. japonica include crotonifolia, gold dust, and hillieri. Crassifolia, lance leaf, and Mr. Goldstrike are some of the male cultivars. Gardeners who want the showy berries need to research this before buying plants.
The leaves of most Aucuba plants are large, up to eight to ten inches (20 to 25 cm) long, and usually have toothed edges. Most of the leaves are glossy, solid green, but some species and cultivars have colorful leaves. A. japonica has many varieties that have yellow or gold splotches on green leaves. The plants generally have small flowers. Most cultivars of the Japanese laurel have purple to red-purple flowers in panicles, or stalked spires, rising up to four inches (ten cm) tall. In contrast to the deep-colored flowers.
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