Aucuba Photo Study Gallery
Juniper Level Botanic Garden - An Ex-Situ Conservation Garden
Our Mission is to Collect, Study, Propagate, and Share
As of 2018, JLBG has just over 25,000 taxa of living plants, making the collection one of the most diverse in the world. Fundraising for an operational endowment to preserve the garden is underway, administered by NC State University. If you'd like to help preserve the gardens and plant collections for future generations, you can do so with a tax-deductible contribution at JLBG.org and click on the Donate Link.
At Juniper Level Botanic Garden, part of our mission is to educate and share both plants and information. This photo/informational gallery is devoted to cataloging as many forms as possible. It is our hope that this photographic study gallery can also prevent duplicate use of names and prevent confusion in the trade.
The genus Aucuba has long resided in the dogwood family (Cornaceae), but has now been determined to be a cousin of Garrya and moved into the Garrryaceae family.
For years, Aucuba was considered to consist of only 3 species (Aucuba japonica, Aucuba chinensis, and Aucuba himalaica) but that list has currently expanded to 10 species, and will continue to grow. The current list of species is below:
Aucubas are shrubs or small trees native to Asia from the Himalayas in the west, through China and into Japan and South Korea. The name aucuba is an anglicization of the Japanese word 'aoki' which means 'blue tree'. Originally used as medicinal plants, aucubas have been grown as ornamentals since the 1700s.
Aucubas are popular because of its large shiny evergreen leaves, which are often variegated. Where it is winter hardy, usually in Zone 7 south, it is invaluable as a bold textured evergreen that will thrive in shade.
Aucubas bright red berries which are only present on female plants if there is a male Aucuba in the vicinity (except for a few cultivars like 'Rozannie' which has both male and female parts in every flower). The only way to tell a male aucuba from a female one is to observe the small purple flowers. The fascinatingly attractive winter-produced flowers held close to the stem are female and flowers on an erect flower stalk and with four little yellow anthers are male.
Plantsman Larry Hatch of http://Cultivar.org has documented 173 Aucuba cultivars and much of their history. Most come from Japanese collectors. Our goal is to photo document as many as possible, so if you have images of other clones that you'd be willing to share for the gallery, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org