Aucuba: Aucuba japonica
The aucuba, an evergreen shrub and a member of the Cornaceae family, reaches a height of 5 m (16 ft) in its native country of China. The very striking leaves may be yellow or green-flecked depending on the variety. Aucubas are dioecious, meaning that the male and femalegrow on separate plants. If pollination takes place, red, slightly poisonous fruits develop. It is a very robust plant that prefers a shady position. However, forms with variegated foliage will turn green in permanent shade. Because of the leathery leaves the plant transpires less but it still needs regular watering in summer. It also needs good and weekly closes of fertilizer.
It can remain outdoors during winter if placed in a sheltered position. However, it is safer to put it in a light, frost-proof place at a temperature of about 5-10° C (41-50° F). If it is too warm and the air too dry, the leaves will drop. Cuttings can be taken in spring or summer. Watch out for scale insects and spicier mites.