The Q&A Archives: Solid Green Aucuba ?

Question: I have four plants growing in the garden.......slow growing but beautiful and now about two feet tall. I took some leaves to a nearby Nursery but I'm not sure. I saw your 'Mr Goldstrike' there, but mine are solid yellow at all. I have it growing near the foundation facing flower, no berry ever and I've had for
five years. Very healthy with no care ! When it was given to me the woman said it was from South America. I thught aucuba comes from Asia ? Please help me identify.

Answer: There are indeed plain green aucubas so it is quite possible that is what you have. The foliage on the speices is a dark green. Many selections have been made on the basis of unusual variegated patterns, however. It is originally from Japan, hence the name Aucuba japonica. I am not sure why someone would have a plant from South America, but gardeners (and plants) travel widely and it is possible the original plant was obtained there. According to Michael Dirr's "Manual of Woody Landscape Plants" the green form was introduced in 1861 and the variegated in 1783 so they have been around for a long time. Off the top of my head I can't think of any other plant it could be.

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