Aucuba japonica, commonly called spotted laurel, Japanese laurel, Japanese aucuba or gold dust plant, is a shrub native to rich forest soils of moist valleys, thickets, by streams and near shaded moist rocks in China, Korea, and Japan.
Aucuba is a slow-growing shrub with yellow speckled foliage or bright green glossy foliage depending on the cultivar, gold-dust plant adds a burst of color to deep shade. An evergreen shrub, gold-dust plant keeps its leaves year-round, providing color and texture when other plants go dormant for winter. Gold-dust plant is grown for its berries as well as its leaves. Female plants produce bright red berries in fall when a male pollinator is nearby. Aucuba japonica plant is valued for its ability to thrive in the most difficult of garden environments such as dry shade. It also copes with pollution and salt-laden coastal winds.
This plant is a moderate grower, although faster growth can be accomplished with yearly fertilizing and regular watering until it reaches the desired size. Prune to any shape or size.