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A picture of a Spotted Laurel

Spotted Laurel

Aucuba japonica

Also known as

Japanese aucuba, Himalayan laurel, Variegated laurel

Aucuba japonica 'Variegata' in Botanical garden, Minsk by Хомелка (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Full Shade
Easy care
Light watering
Frost Hardy


RHS hardiness


Minimum temperature

Expected size









  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

More images of Spotted Laurel

A Aucuba japonica cultivar with green and yellow flecked leaves
A Aucuba japonica cultivar with green and yellow flecked leaves
A close up of some leaves and berries from an Aucuba japonica plant
A Aucuba japonica cultivar with green and yellow flecked leaves

Spotted Laurel Overview

Aucuba japonica is an evergreen shrub species from which many cultivars and hybrids have been developed. Its large leaves are mid-green, waxy, tooth-edged and splashed with pale yellow 'spots'. Small purple, spring flowers are followed by large glossy red fruit, on female plants. A. japonica can light up shady corners and it makes an excellent dense screen/hedge for an urban or coastal garden, as it copes well with urban pollution and salt air. It is easy to look after and resilient - thriving in inhospitable, shady areas of the garden where other plants struggle. All parts toxic if ingested.

Common problems with Spotted Laurel

Generally pest free.

How to propagate Spotted Laurel


Take semi-hardwood cuttings in late summer.


Special features of Spotted Laurel

Attractive leaves

Hedge plant

Wind break

Other uses of Spotted Laurel

This versatile shrub can be used in almost every garden, either as a specimen plant in a flower bed/border or as hedging to provide a screen. The foliage is often used for flower arrangements.

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