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Aucuba Japonica (Japanese Aucuba)


Aucuba Japonica is an evergreen shrub introduced from Japan in 1783. It is, without doubt, one of the most useful evergreens we have, for, besides being very ornamental, it will thrive under trees and in dark places where nothing else will grow; it also flourishes well in towns, and usually looks brighter than other evergreens.

The leaves of the species are green and glossy, but forms with variegated leaves are better known. The flowers are small and inconspicuous, male and female being borne on different plants.

They are followed by bright red, very conspicuous fruits, 2 inch long. The ornamental fruit has given rise to a considerable trade in cultivating plants for fruit alone.

Cuttings are rooted and grown in 6-inch pots indoors. A few male plants are grown among a houseful of females, and hand fertilising is resorted to; this ensures a good set, and plants 9 to 12 inches high and as much through, carrying from fifty to one hundred ripe berries, realise good prices during autumn and winter.