Aucuba japonica 'Crotonifolia'
Commonly known as the spotted laurel, Aucuba japonica 'Crotonifolia' is best known perhaps for it's tolerance of shade, although it will also thrive in semi shade and even full sun. The attractive large toothed and glossy, mid green leaves are variably splashed and spotted with large yellow patches and the shrub has small and rather insignificant purple flowers of both the male and female variety which may then be followed by bright red berries. Can be used as a specimen to lighten a planting scheme, but also as a hedge or backdrop to a border. Size can be controlled by a light trim annually (best done with secateurs to avoid marring the large leaves), but if left unchecked this shrub can reach 2 to 2.5metres high and wide. Happy in most soils except very waterlogged.